Telangana's Rythu Bandhu scheme showed the way to the Centre, which on Friday announced the PM Kisan Yojna to provide income support to farmers. Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in his Interim Budget announced the scheme for direct cash transfer to small farmers. Every farmer owning less than two hectares of land will get Rs 6,000 per year in three equal instalments.
It was Telangana, India's youngest state, which came out with the investment support scheme last year as part of its measures to transform the agriculture sector. It is aimed at taking care of the initial investment by the farmer so that he doesn't have to approach private lenders. However, under Rythu Bandhu, farmers irrespective of their land holding are getting Rs 8,000 per acre annually, at the rate of Rs 4,000 per acre per crop.
Launched in May last year by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, the scheme has so far benefited 58 lakh farmers. In the Budget for 2018-19, the state had set aside Rs 12,000 crore for this scheme.
Governor ESL Narasimhan had noted last month that Rythu Bandhu not only found its place in the national agenda but also won appreciation from the UN. To ensure that benefits of Rythu Bandhu reach the actual beneficiaries, a comprehensive programme for purification, rectification and update of revenue records was taken up. Under the programme, ownership of 94 per cent of lands was determined and passbooks were issued to farmers. The only aspect of Rythu Bandhu which has come under criticism is that tenant farmers are not entitled for the benefit.
6,000 Investment support To Farmers: Goyal
Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday announced direct annual income support of Rs 6,000 to farmers with land holding of two hectares. Presenting the Interim Budget for 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha, Goyal said the Pradhan Mantri Fund Scheme has been constituted with an aim to double farmers' income by 2022.
He said Rs 75,000 crore will be allocated for the scheme for 2019-20 and Rs 20,000 crore has been set apart in the revised estimates for the current year 2018-19. The money will be transferred in three instalments through direct benefit transfer. The scheme, to be implemented from December 1, 2018, will be notified shortly. He also said that Rs 1.7 lakh crore has been allocated on food subsidy and Rs 60,000 crore for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.