Hyderabad: Disbursement through bank cheques is likely to be ultimate option for reaching out to the farmers with the Agriculture Investment Support Scheme. The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Agriculture Investment Support Scheme is also favouring payment of the assistance through cheques.
The committee which had several rounds of meeting with the officials and farmers at the grassroots finalised the operational guidelines for implementation of the scheme.
The committee under the chairmanship of Agriculture Minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy met here on Wednesday to decided best mode to transfer Rs 4,000 per acre per crop to farmers in the State under the novel scheme.
The committee members, agriculture officials, public representatives and legislators have conducted an extensive farmers’ survey on the mode of input assistance transfer.
During the survey, the members contacted around 62,677 farmers covering 624 villages in 551 mandals in the State on a single day to elicit their opinion on the scheme and the report was handed over to the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Wednesday.
Based on the banker’s opinion and farmers survey, the sub-committee had an elaborate discussion on operational guidelines. “The report is ready and it will be submitted to Chief Minister K Chandharshekhar Rao for a final decision, the scheme is the biggest financial transfer scheme in the country for the agriculture sector,” Said Pocharam Srinivas Reddy.
The committee also felt that non-cultivable lands should be brought out from the scheme and no assistance would be offered in case farmers kept the land barren.
During the meeting, the committee members asked the banks to keep required funds ready with all branches to ensure farmers get the amount on time. “If there are no funds available with the banks, the government’s main intention of the programme will go in vain,” the committee felt.
The scheme’s main intention is to keep away the farmers from approaching bankers and private money lenders for loans.
Committee members T Harish Rao, T Nageshwar Rao, Etela Rajender, G Jagadish Reddy and P Mahender Reddy, government advisor Rajiv Sharma, Agriculture Secretary C Partha Sarathi, Finance Principal Secretary Ramakrishna Rao and Bankers took part in the meeting.
Delhi tour to meet Finance Minister and RBI officials
The committee members wanted help from Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely and RBI officials for the successful implementation of the scheme. “State Finance Minister Etela Rajender is soon going to Delhi to meet both Finance Minister and RBI officials to request pumping of more money to State banks during the agriculture season besides explaining the Agriculture Investment Support Scheme and its intention,” Pocharam Srinivas Reddy said.