A State-level portal will be at the heart of the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme to be implemented by the Telangana Government later this month. The scheme seeks to provide a grant of Rs 8,000 an acre (Rs 4,000 each for kharif and rabi seasons) for farmers.
The Government, which had allocated Rs 12,000 crore for the scheme in the Budget for 2018-19, has designated eight public sector banks to pay the farmers on receiving ‘order cheques’ from them.
“Agriculture in the State is characterised by stagnation, low productivity, droughts and low levels of public and private investments. Investment support is the surest way to enhance agricultural productivity and income of farmers, besides breaking the vicious cycle of rural indebtedness,” the GO issued on Wednesday said.
Land-owning farmers (not tenant farmers) will get the cheques in the next few weeks under Rythu Bandhu or the Agricultural Investment Support Scheme.
“Farmers’ income in the State has been under stress in view of the ever-growing input costs, unpredictable prices and rising family expenses, especially on health and education,” it said.
While SBI will take care of disbursement in 251 mandals, Andhra Bank will do the job in 130 mandals, followed by entities like Syndicate Bank, Corporation Bank and Corporation Bank.
Farmers need not deposit the cheques in their accounts (to avoid automatic deduction by banks for the outstanding loans that they might have). Each cheque will be drawn for a maximum of Rs 49,990 only. If a beneficiary is eligible for more than Rs 50,000, he or she will be given more than one cheque.
Details of cheque disbursements will be uploaded on the portal to be developed and run by the National Informatics Centre. The State Informatics Officer, NIC and the State-Level banking Committee (SLBC) will ensure flow of data on the eligible farmers and the cheques that they are issued.
The Government has issued an eight-page GO, detailing the work flow in the issuance of cheques and keeping of records to make them available for audit.
Source: Hindustan Businessline