Rythu Bandhu has been implemented at a breakneck speed in Telangana but there have been multiple oversights during the short course of the scheme
The scheme was to be launched in May 2018 at an estimated cost of R8,000 crore for 2018-19. The objective was to reduce farmers' dependence on bank loans and on moneylenders, and, thereby, reduce their debt burden over the years The drive was undertaken in a great rush. Over 20 million records were digitised in just six months, and there were a lot of errors. And these were only land ownership records, not of tenants. A detailed survey should have been conducted to gauge the number
of tenant farmers and acreage under tenancy A sum of R12,000 crore allocated for 2018-19, which was 50 per cent more than the initial estimate. Under the scheme, R4,000 per acre is given to landowners during kharif and rabi seasons. The land cultivated in rabi is 70 per cent less than that in kharif, but land owners would still receive the same benefit Tenant farmers across the state protest their exclusion from the scheme. Hearing a private petition on June 29, the Hyderabad High Court asks the state government to give reason, in three weeks, for the exclusion of tenant farmers.
The response was not sent till this magazine went to press How much of this money actually made it to cultivators is questionable. Experts estimate that the figure could be as low as 10 per cent. Farmers say their dependence on banks or moneylenders has not reduced
Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao announces an investment support scheme for farmers on April 21, 2017 Details of the scheme announced on March 15, 2018, in the state budget In May-June, 2018 about 5 million cheques distributed under the scheme amounting to R5,700 crore A drive to digitise existing land records undertaken by the government between September 2017 and March 2018 Rythu Bandhu launched on May 10, 2018. Distribution of patta passbooks—the sole basis of eligibility, for beneficiaries— starts