Hyderabad: The Prime Minister’s Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PMKSNY), the input subsidy scheme launched by the Centre before the Lok Sabha elections, “is an eye-wash and nowhere near Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu scheme,” Agriculture Minister Singireddy Niranjan Reddy said on Tuesday.
The Minister, responding to questions from members in the Legislative Assembly, said Rs 7,254 crore was being provided as input assistance to 56.76 lakh farmers for the current kharif crop season this year. So far this year, Rs 4,380.89 crore was paid and the balance of Rythu Bandhu payments for 13.18 lakh farmers is in the pipeline and would reach them soon. Last year, the number of beneficiaries under the scheme was 51.50 lakh with the government providing a total of Rs 10,505 crore at the rate of Rs 8,000 per acre for the two crop seasons. “This year, the government increased the amount to Rs 10,000 per annum,” he added.
He also reassured the House that no changes had been made in the scheme’s implementation with respect to eligibility. “Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has already informed the same to the House. Any report of changes is mischievous and is aimed at creating unrest among farmers,” he said.
Niranjan Reddy said under PMKSNY, the Centre identified 33 lakh beneficiaries in the State of whom 75,000 were paid Rs 125 crore. “The Central scheme only gives Rs 6,000 a year, in three instalments. This does not really help farmers and is an eye-wash,” he said. The Minister also said the Centre copied Telangana’s scheme in a hurry before the Lok Sabha elections and drew heavily from the State’s scheme for implementing its scheme.
The Minister said that many Rythu Bandhu beneficiaries who have five acres or less, are also recipients of the State Government’s Aasara pensions. “For a farmer who has five acres, this translates into Rs 50,000 from the input assistance programme and close to another Rs 25,000 in Aasara pensions for a total of Rs 75,000 a year,” he explained.
He also said there were no changes in the Rythu Bhima programme as well.