RYTHU BANDHU SCHEME
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Context: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has withdrawn its permission for the Telangana government to disburse funds under the 'Rythu Bandhu Scheme' after the State Finance Minister violated the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) by announcing the disbursement of funds.
- The ECI had initially allowed the government to disburse the funds, but it did so on the condition that the government not makes any public announcements about the disbursement. The ECI has now withdrawn its permission for the disbursement of funds
Rythu Bandhu Scheme
- The Rythu Bandhu Scheme, also known as the Farmer's Investment Support Scheme (FISS), is a significant welfare program implemented by the State Government of Telangana to provide financial assistance to farmers for their agricultural investments.
- Introduced in 2018, the scheme has garnered considerable attention for its direct cash transfer approach and its potential impact on the lives of farmers in the state.
Key Features of the Rythu Bandhu Scheme
- The scheme directly transfers ₹5,000 per acre per season to the bank accounts of registered farmers, ensuring that the financial assistance reaches farmers without intermediaries.
- Farmers receive cash support twice a year, covering both the kharif (rainy) and rabi (winter) cropping seasons, enabling them to invest in essential agricultural inputs for both crop cycles.
- The scheme encompasses over 58.33 lakh (5.8 million) farmers across Telangana, ensuring that a substantial portion of the farming community benefits from the financial assistance.
Objectives and Impact of the Rythu Bandhu Scheme
- By providing direct cash assistance, the scheme helps farmers reduce their reliance on debt and manage their agricultural expenses effectively.
- The cash infusion enables farmers to invest in quality inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, leading to improved crop yields and agricultural productivity.
- The scheme contributes to the overall financial security and well-being of farmers, potentially reducing the incidence of farmer suicides.
Evaluation and Future Directions
- While the Rythu Bandhu Scheme has garnered praise for its direct cash transfer approach and its potential impact on farmers' lives, it has also faced some criticisms. Some argue that the scheme's financial implications are substantial and may pose sustainability challenges in the long run.
- There are concerns about the scheme's focus on cash transfers and the need for a more comprehensive approach that addresses other critical aspects of agricultural development, such as infrastructure, market access, and skill development.
- The Rythu Bandhu Scheme's success indicates the potential of direct cash transfer programs in addressing immediate financial burdens for farmers. Yet, complementing it with broader developmental strategies remains essential for sustainable agricultural growth.
Must Read Articles:
Model Code of Conduct: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/model-code-of-conduct-the-dos-and-donts
PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/pm-kisan-samman-nidhi-yojana-18
Q. How does direct cash support benefit farmers in enhancing agricultural productivity, mitigating financial risks, and fostering sustainable farming practices?