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Telangana govt plans to merge Rythu with Kisan

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Hyderabad: The Telangana state government has proposed merger of the Centrally-funded new Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme and the state government’s own Rythu Bandhu scheme.

The state and Central government schemes both provide investment subsidy to the farmers.

Under Rythu Bandhu, the Telangana state government is paying Rs 5,000 per acre in the kharif season and the same in the rabi season to every farmer in the state. Around 53 lakh farmers are benefiting from the scheme which costs the state exchequer `15,000 crore per year.

The Central government scheme gives every small and marginal farmer family in the country that owns less than five acres of cultivable land Rs 6,000 per year in three instalments. It will benefit around 47 lakh farmers in TS and cost `3,000 crore per year.

The TS government is of the opinion that since in the state all farmers irrespective of their land holdings are getting benefit under Rythu Bandhu scheme, there is no need for another similar scheme for them.

If the TS government proposes this to the Central government and the latter accepts the reasoning, 47 lakh farmers will lose the additional benefit of `6,000 per year provided by the Central government. But the financial burden on the state exchequer for implementing Rythu Bandhu will reduce by about `3,000 crore. The Central government will release the funds of `6,000 crore to the TS government in three instalments.

The state government will give `5,000 per acre in both seasons to farmers as per the Rythu Bandhu scheme.

The state government has no objection to the name of the scheme being changed to Rythu Bandhu-PM Kisan. A senior official of the Telangana state government does not believe such a merger is possible.

He said that the Central government has announced this scheme to get some political mileage before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Central government wants to give the first instalment before the elections.

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