Hyderabad: The farmer’s investment support scheme could become a major problem for the Telangana state government in the next rabi season (which starts in October) when the 2019 Assembly elections would be close.
The state government has decided to give investment subsidy for the kharif season (starting in July) at the rate of Rs 4,000 per acre, irrespective of whether the land is cultivable or not. Around Rs 5,600 crore is required for the investment subsidy in the kharif season.
Normally, in the rabi season, most farmers cultivate only 50 per cent of the land they cultivated for the kharif crop.
Since the policy states that investment subsidy has to be distributed to all farmers, whether they cultivate the crop of not, a huge part of the money will go to all farmers regardless of the area of cultivation during the rabi season.
If the government withholds the subsidy for those who have not cultivated any crop, it will earn their displeasure and this will reflect badly in the elections.
The state government does not have exact the number of farmers and is depending on their bank accounts to distribute the investment support money.
According to the records, there is 1.42 lakh hectares of agricultural land in the state and there are 71.75 lakh bank accounts of farmers. The total gross cropped area is 62.88 lakh hectares, and the average net cropped area is 49.61 lakh hectares.
Some of the land listed as agricultural is rocky and cannot be cultivated.
Officials have suggested that the subsidy not be provided for this land but Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao did not agree to this suggestion and had ordered the officials to distribute the investment support subsidy to all farmers for both seasons whether their land is cultivated or not.
Government officials claim that this will place a heavy burden on the state exchequer, but politics, it seems, will trump common sense any time.
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