The path-breaking ‘Rythu Bandhu’ programme under which the State government has been extending input assistance of Rs 8,000 per acre per annum will be implemented parallel to the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi which offers small and marginal farmers Rs 6,000 per annum, according to a top official in the Department of Agriculture.
Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had a video conference on Tuesday with the State officials as part of the preparatory exercise for the launch of the programme. Though the Centre is in a hurry to push the first instalment of the assistance of Rs 2,000 to farmers, the verification of the eligibility criterion is a big task, the sources said.
A majority of the conditions are aimed at the elimination of farmers who are otherwise found to be well to do on a number of counts. The new initiative of the Central government, which is intended to placate small farmers, is totally on a different footing compared to the Rythu Bandhu, the officials said. Telangana government initiative is aimed at benefiting all the farmers irrespective of the size and extent of their land holdings. In the given circumstances, the bigger the extent of holding, more the distress. Hence the State government had adopted a liberal approach extending the benefit to all.
Moreover, the government is firm on hiking the assistance to Rs10,000 per acre soon. Nearly 20 per cent of the small farmers’ will not merit any consideration for the assistance under the Pradhan Mantri Kishan Samman Nidhi. Unlike the Rythu Bandhu under which every farmer owning land, irrespective of his employment or economic status is eligible for the input assistance without any cuts, the PM Kishan Nidhi has its own limitations.
No government employee will be eligible for the Kishan Nidhi assistance. The family will be taken as a unit for the implementation of the scheme and only one member of the family will have the entitlement for it.
The Centre is in a hurry to ensure transfer of the first instalment of Rs 2,000 in a month’s time, well before the notification for the Lok Sabha polls. By the time they receive the assistance even the Rabi crop will be ready for harvest. So far as the Rythu bandh assistance is concerned, the State had planned it in advance and it took steps for the timely reach of the assistance.