The Telangana government launched “Rythu Bandhu” on May 10, 2018. It is a welfare scheme that aims to aid farmers in their investments in cropping seasons. It is one of its kind in the country. It drew a lot of attention from researchers and other analysts. Due to the debt trap, there has been significant growth of farmer’s death cases in India. Therefore, this scheme’s primary objective is to increase productive outcomes in a cropping season, double the farmer’s income, and avoid falling into debt traps. Twelve thousand crores were allotted in the initial fiscal year. (now, the allocation is around 15000 crores for the financial year 2021-2022). Through Rythu Bandhu, farmers receive 5000 rupees per acre, and the money shall be utilised to purchase Fertilisers, Labour, Seeds, etc.
Rythu Bandhu scheme is often compared with PM’s Kisan scheme. However, the government of Telangana stressed the fact that both schemes are distinctive. Unlike PM’s Kisan scheme, a farmer in Telangana becomes the beneficiary of Rythu Bandhu based on their land.
The farmer must own the share of land, and the scheme majorly targets the small-scale farmers in the state. (Commercial farmers are out of the scheme’s benefits) Sixty lakh farmers in the state are estimated to be the beneficiaries. However, there has been much deliberation made by the government officials to make the farmers sown alternative crops than paddy; officials urged the farmers to plant the crop as recommended by the state authorities, and those farmers shall remain as the primary beneficiaries of the scheme.
Types of crops covered:
The crops covered are Cotton, Paddy, Sugar Cane, Soyabean and others.
Mode of application:
Farmers can apply online, and offline mode and the documents needed are government-authorised proofs.
The Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ review of recipients in 2019 uncovered that around 78% of landowning beneficiaries got the total money move for the two seasons. However, 22% didn’t get the money move or get it for a lesser degree in one or both the seasons. The majority of these beneficiaries were stakeholders of land.
In majority of the cases, the principal justification behind not getting the money move was that they didn’t have the new Pattadar Passbook (the new Land Title reports) for all or part of their territory. Ever since the announcement of Rythu Bandhu was made, the Opposition backlashed at the government due to improper implementation of the scheme.
Many leaders showcased their concern as many farmers in the state are tenant farmers who are left out of the scheme benefit ( practically ineligible to make an application). They claim that many farmers who hold less than an acre of land remain out of the league. Besides the controversy over the eligibility, there have been instances of cheques of investment assistance being delayed for submission. The farmers stay awaited, and before the cheques are deposited, few turn towards their traditional loan lenders for money assistance.