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Cash crunch hits Rythu Bandhu

Cash crunch hits Rythu Bandhu
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Farmers await release of funds for Rabi season

Hyderabad: The financial crunch being faced by the state government seems to have affected the release of funds for the Rythu Bandhu scheme in the ensuing Rabi season.

The government had promised to give a cash incentive of Rs 5,000 per acre to take up farming activities from November first week onwards.

None of the farmers, including small and marginal, received the incentive in the state so far, sources told The Hans India.

The government has earmarked Rs 15,000 crore allocations for Rythu bandh in the 2019-20 budget. As promised by the TRS in the election manifesto, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao enhanced the cash incentive to Rs 5,000 per acre from Rs 4,000 in the current financial year.

In the Kharif season, the government could not extend the benefit to all 50 lakh farmers due to paucity of funds.

Top officials said the Finance department has to take a final call on the release of the funds as the Agriculture department had fulfilled all the formalities mainly the submission of the beneficiaries' list and their bank accounts.

The government has introduced online payment of the cash incentive to all the farmers this financial year.

Several appeals were made to the top officials of the finance wing to the release the money and they were waiting for the response from Finance department," a senior official said.

It was first time that such delay has taken place in the disbursement of the benefit to the farmers since 2018 when the state government introduced the scheme.

In the last two Rabi seasons, the benefit was released to the farmers by November end, the official said. In a bid to reduce the financial burden on the state under the Rythu Bandhu, sources said that the proposal to stop extending the benefit to the farmers who owned more than 10 acres of land is under consideration.

The Chief Minister will have to approve the proposal before enforcing the new norm in the scheme. The other proposal to extend the benefit only to the farmers who cultivate the lands in the Rabi season was also forwarded to the CM for consideration.

"The Agriculture department is waiting for CM's nod to introduce new guidelines in the finalisation of the beneficiaries from this season," a senior official said.

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