Most vulnerable farmers are left out as states across India start money transfers to farmland owners -Mridula Chari
Landless farmers are left out of Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu, but nominally included in Odisha’s Kalia.
For two decades, Chinthanna Linganna, 55, has cultivated agricultural land leased from others in Talamadugu village in Telangana’s Adilabad district. He currently rents 20 acres of land to grow cotton. Since May, the people who own this land have received cheques of up to Rs 1.6 lakh from the state government as agricultural investment support. Linganna received no such assistance even though he invests around Rs 40,000 per acre in this land, which includes the cost of leasing it.
As Linganna does not own any land in his name, he is not eligible to be a beneficiary under Rythu Bandhu, Telangana’s ambitious farm investment support scheme that gives agricultural landholders Rs 4,000 per acre at the start of every farming season (increased to Rs 5,000 for the 2019 kharif season) to help them buy farm inputs without taking loans.
Many attributed the return of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi to power for a second term in December to the Rythu Bandhu scheme.
This perception possibly prompted the Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre to launch a similar scheme called Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme, or PM-Kisan, which provides annual support of Rs 6,000 to farmers in three instalments. The Congress too has promised an income support scheme, but has not made it clear who will be its beneficiaries.
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Scroll.in, 27 March, 2019, https://scroll.in/article/917704/most-vulnerable-farmers-are-left-out-as-states-across-india-start-money-transfers-to-farmland-owners