Andhra Pradesh, Haryana try to ease farmer distress with some cash

Jaganmohan Reddy govt fulfills electoral promise; ML Khattar govt announces cash assistance in run up to state polls

By Jitendra
Published: Friday 07 June 2019
Representative Photo: Getty Images

The new Andhra Pradesh government led by YS Jaganmohan Reddy has scrapped the previous Telgu Desam Party (TDP) government’s policy on cash support and replaced it with a new scheme of providing cash support up to Rs 50,000 per small and marginal farmers in four installments.

The YSR Ryathu Bharosa scheme, named after Reddy’s late father, will provide income support of Rs 12,500 per family per annum for the next four years. This scheme will be implemented by October 15.

Reddy had promised such a scheme in his election manifesto. The previous TDP government, led by N Chandrababu Naidu, started the Annadatha Sukhibhava Scheme, which promised Rs 9,000 per farmer family per annum.

In the run-up to the Assembly elections, the TDP government had even started paying Rs 1,000 to seven million small and marginal farmers, including tenant farmers. This scheme was clubbed with the Union government’s PM KISAN scheme of paying Rs 6,000 per farmer household.

Meanwhile, the Haryana government has also started a cash assistance scheme in order to provide pension to farmers of Rs 6,000 per year. The state has planned to provide the pension in addition to the PM KISAN scheme. This means that a farmer will now get Rs 12,000 per year in Haryana.

The Haryana government has allocated Rs 1,500 crore for the pension scheme, meant for farmers with land holdings up to 2 hectare (ha). The state elections are coming up in October.

Since last year, following massive protests by farmers over debts and the agrarian crisis, governments began announcing cash support schemes to pacify them.

In 2018, Haryana had formed a committee to look into prospect of pension for farmers. In Rajasthan, the state government carved out schemes like the Krishak Samman Pension Yojana, under which it provides Rs 750 per month to all farmers who are above 58 years of age; and Rs 1,000 to farmers who are above 75. The age requirement of women farmer was kept at 55.

The cash support scheme in Telangana last Kharif season helped the incumbent K Chandrashekar Rao come back to power with a land slide mandate.

Similar schemes have been announced in Odisha and Jharkhand. Finally, in its interim budget, the Union government, too, announced Rs 6,000 per farmer cash assistance support.

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