HYDERABAD: Telangana farmers will get Rs. 4,000 financial assistance from the government for every acre to buy fertilizers, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has announced, insisting that farmers deserved a lot more subsidy than they received. KCR, as the Chief Minister is also known, said he did not subscribe to the views of the so-called “progressive economists” who criticized bigger subsidies for farmers.
Mr Rao made the announcement at an interaction with a group of farmers who had come over to felicitate him for delivering on his poll promise to waive farm loans for 36 lakh farmers. The state government had released the last instalment of Rs. 4000 crore for this scheme just two days earlier.
“There are about 55 lakh farmers in the state who are using 25 lakh tones of fertilizer. The government will give them Rs. 4000 per acre to each for the procurement of fertilizer,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said, quoting Mr Rao. The money will be deposited into the bank account of farmers every year before the Kharif season in May-end.
But the financial assistance will start flowing into the bank accounts of the farmers only from May 2018.
The delayed implementation has been criticized by the opposition BJP that called Thursday’s statement “an election gimmick” and a “farce”. The opposition believes KCR’s Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which had won 90 of the 119 assembly seats in the 2014 elections, had begun work on the 2019 assembly elections.
KCR, however, was dismissive of any attempt to link the latest announcement to the elections; the Chief Minister said he was only fulfilling his election promises.
BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said the Chief Minister should implement the scheme right away if the plight of farmers, and not the next assembly elections, had motivated the government to come up with the scheme.