A report claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Union Government is planning to put money directly in the hands of farmers in a bid to boost their economic condition. According to a report by The Print, the government’s ambitious income support plan for farmers may be announced before the Union Budget 2019. For an immediate implementation of the scheme, the government may also seek the Parliament’s approval for the additional expenditure through the supplementary demand for grants
Interestingly, the report suggests, that the income support scheme could be on the lines of Universal Basic Income (UBI) and Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme. While UBI refers to unconditional cash transfers to the target group, Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme provides monetary support to farmers to buy farm inputs on the basis of their land holdings.
What is Rythu Bandhu scheme
According to the official website of Telangana government’s Ryuthu Bandhu, the scheme provides investment support to agriculture and horticulture crops by way of grant of Rs. 4,000/- per acre per farmer each season for the purchase of inputs like seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labour and other investments in the field operations of farmer’s choice for the crop season.
If a beneficiary of the scheme cultivates an acre of land for two seasons in a year, h/she is eligible for Rs 8000. The investment support will be more if the farmer cultivates more land.
The amount is distributed through “Order Cheques” before the start of the Kharif season. The Ryuthu Bandhu scheme has been implemented from the year 2018-19 onwards from the beginning of the Kharif (Vanakalam in Telugu) season. The state government had earmarked an additional budget of Rs 12000 crore for the financial year.
The scheme aims to relieve the debt burden and not allowing farmers to fall into the debt trap again.