The total funds disbursed under Rythu Bandhu, the Telangana government’s direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers, will soon touch Rs 50,000 crore in the coming days.
- They launched the scheme in 2018.
What is the Rythu Bandhu?
Rythu Bandhu Scheme or Farmer’s Investment Support Scheme (FISS) is a welfare program to support farmers’ investment in two crops a year by the Government of Telangana.
The scheme aims to incentivize the state’s farmers for their day-to-day work.
- Under the scheme, almost 58.33 lakh farmers of Telangana state are provided Rs 5000 per acre, per season (crop-sowing) – to support the farm investment twice a year, for both – the Rabi and the Kharif seasons.
The purpose behind the scheme was to break the vicious cycle of rural indebtedness.
Who qualifies under the Rythu Bandhu scheme?
To apply under the scheme and to make the cut, the farmer should have been a resident of Telangana state and must own farming land.
- The scheme includes small and marginal farmers but excludes commercial farmers.
- This scheme excludes farmers who still rent land.
Currently, more than 8 lakh farmers in Telangana enjoy the benefits of the Rythu Bandhu scheme.”
Significance of the scheme:
The state government extends financial support to land-owning farmers at the beginning of the crop season through direct benefit transfer so that they can take care of the initial investment needs and do not fall into a debt trap.
- This, in turn, instils confidence in farmers, enhances productivity and income, and breaks the cycle of rural indebtedness.
How does it compare 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. The Telangana government further claims that its scheme is much better than PM-KISAN.
- 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.
The Rythu Bandhu scheme has also come in from criticism from several quarters, with one of the major ones being that it ignores the plight of landless or tenant farmers.