Direct Benefits Transfers

Rythu Bandhu: Telangana DBT scheme for farmers’ assistance

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rythu Bandhu Scheme

Mains level : DBT schemes for farmers

The total funds disbursed under Rythu Bandhu, Telangana government’s direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers, will soon touch Rs 50,000 crore in the coming days.

What is Rythu Bandhu?

  • Rythu Bandhu is a scheme under which the state government extends financial support to land-owning farmers at the beginning of the crop season through direct benefit transfer.
  • The scheme aims to take care of the initial investment needs and do not fall into a debt trap.
  • This in turn instills confidence in farmers, enhances productivity and income, and breaks the cycle of rural indebtedness.

DBT under the Scheme

  • Each farmer gets Rs 5,000 per acre per crop season without any ceiling on the number of acres held.
  • So, a farmer who owns two acres of land would receive Rs 20,000 a year, whereas a farmer who owns 10 acres would receive Rs 1 lakh a year from the government.
  • The grant helps them cover the expenses on input requirements such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and labour.

How much does it cost the state exchequer?

  • Since the Kharif season of 2018, the state government has been crediting Rythu Bandhu assistance to farmers.
  • As of date, it has credited Rs 43,036.64 crore into the bank accounts of beneficiaries.
  • This season, the state government will disburse another Rs 7638.99 crore, taking the total sum disbursed so far to over Rs 50,000 crore.

Comparing with the PM-KISAN scheme

  • The state government has often said that the Centre’s PM-KISAN (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi) scheme is a “copy” of Rythu Bandhu.
  • Under PM-KISAN, a land-holding family receives an income support of 6,000 per year in three equal installments.
  • Rythu Bandhu is based on anticipated input expenditure for each acre of land and there is no restriction on the number of acres owned by a farmer.
  • PM-KISAN only provides support to the family and not to the farm units.

Criticisms of the Rythu Bandhu Scheme

  • The scheme does not cover the landless or tenant farmers.
  • Farmer bodies have been demanding that the state government should extend the agriculture assistance to tenant farmers as well.
  • They have pointed out that those who work on lands taken on lease from landowners also need government assistance at the beginning of a crop season.
  • It is difficult to bring tenant farmers under the ambit of the scheme because of the informal nature of the agreements they enter into.

 

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