With the Telangana government on Tuesday announcing the schedule to distribute cheques of investment support to farmers, there were reports of scuffles at some places where farmers did not find their names in the beneficiary lists.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had announced assistance of Rs 4,000 per acre per farmer for each sowing season to purchase seeds and fertiliser, starting this month, under the Rythu Bandhu Scheme. The government had identified 57.33 lakh farmer beneficiaries.
An official in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said that funds and cash reserves required for providing investment support to farmers have been deposited in banks.
“When it came to identifying the beneficiaries and scrutinising their Aadhaar numbers, we found that 4.60 lakh people claiming to be farmers or cultivators did not have Aadhaar, or had never enrolled for UID. We excluded these people from the scheme,” the official said.
State Agriculture minister P Srinivas Reddy said, “It has nothing to do with the Supreme Court order (the court is at present hearing the matter). Lists of beneficiaries were drawn based on details of farmers, including extent of land owned, whether cultivating or not, or leased to tenant farmers. If you have Aadhaar, you are eligible — that is criteria of the Telangana government.”
The CMO official said, “The required funds and cash reserves for providing investment support to farmers have been deposited in banks. The chief minister declared that adequate arrangements are made for the farmers to withdraw cash as and when they present cheques in banks. He said that by May 1, Rs 4,114.62 crore was kept ready in various banks, and the Telangana Finance Department officials were meeting Reserve Bank of India officials to make arrangements for getting another Rs 2,000 crore. By the time cheques are to be disbursed, Rs 6,000 crore cash reserves would be kept ready with banks.”
The first phase programme of distributing cheques will start from May 10, under which the government has decided to give financial assistance of Rs 8,000 per acre per year for two crops. The CM held a review meeting on the arrangements made for the programme here on Tuesday.