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Telangana CM KCR orders release of paddy procurement dues to farmers after BJP letter

BJP and TRS members engage in war of words over non-payment of dues to farmers.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad |
June 22, 2022 9:33:06 pm

The state unit of BJP Wednesday appealed to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to immediately release the payments due to the farmers for paddy procured from them during the Rabi season, setting off an exchange of allegations between both the parties.

However, even amid the war of words, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao directed officials to deposit the Rythu Bandhu Scheme amount to the bank accounts of the farmers so that they can start sowing Kharif crops from June 28. “As per the CM’s directions to Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Rythu Bandhu funds will be deposited in the farmers’ accounts in a phased manner,” a CMO official said.

In a letter written to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar said the state government had taken up the purchase of paddy produced during the Rabi season after a prolonged struggle by the BJP. Telangana Agriculture Minister S Niranjan Reddy gave a strong counter saying that the BJP leaders should not talk anything regarding paddy in Telangana. “The BJP-led Centre deceived Telangana farmers by not procuring paddy. How can BJP leaders even comment on payments to the farmers? Did they even bother to talk to the farmers? The process of paying the farmers is already going on,” he said.

Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamlakar was livid that the BJP was making misleading statements. “The Telangana government is purchasing every grain of paddy from the state farmers as our CM had promised to, even though the Centre ditched these paddy farmers by not purchasing their produce. We stand by our commitment to the farmers to purchase and pay for every grain we purchase and the process is going on. BJP has no reason to complain after deceiving the farmers,” he said.

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Bandi Sanjay Kumar, however, alleged that in many districts, the government had not made payments to the farmers towards the paddy procured from them, causing a lot of anxiety for them. “As the Kharif season has commenced, the farmers don’t have money to take up cultivation, as a result of which, they are forced to depend on private money lenders,” he said.

Sanjay said the farmers did not receive the money for the paddy they had produced during the Rabi season and the state government is yet to make payments under the Rythu Bandhu scheme for the Kharif season. “Taking advantage of their situation, the private money lenders are charging high interests on the crop loans,” he said.

Bandi Sanjay Kumar said that in the four districts of Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Jagtial and Rajanna Sircilla, the state government had procured 11.2 lakh metric tonne of paddy from 1,91,852 farmers through 1,286 procurement centres. The total cost of the paddy was Rs 2,197.16 crore but the government is still to pay Rs 517.16 crore to the farmers.

Stating that the Telangana government had little concern towards the farming community, Sanjay said it was unfortunate that neither the agriculture minister nor the officials of the department had made any field visits to understand the farmers’ problems even after the commencement of the Kharif season.

He demanded that the government should immediately release the money due to the farmers for the Rabi season paddy, besides taking steps to arrange for seeds and fertilisers to them at the earliest, so that they could commence the agriculture operations. Sanjay also wanted the district collectors to hold meetings with all farmers’ associations and political parties to discuss the farmers’ issues and extend them the input cost.

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