Hyderabad-based NGO Forum For Good Governance (FGG), a body that aims to guide governance reforms in the state, today submitted a representation to the Telangana government, urging it to change the rules of the implementation of its much-hyped Rythu Bandhu scheme.
It reportedly asked the government to limit the beneficiaries of the scheme to only those farmers who had landholdings of 5 acres or less.
The body pointed out that by doing so, the government would be able to save Rs 10,000 crore on the implementation of the program.
Speaking on the matter, FGG Secretary M Padmanabha Reddy said that the farmers belonging to "higher income groups" did not need to be included as beneficiaries of the scheme. He also added that those with fallow lands need not be given any benefits.
Reddy elaborated by saying, "Current beneficiaries with fallow lands should be exempted from receiving the benefits of the Rythu Bandhu program. This will help in reducing the cost of implementing the scheme from Rs 15,233 crore to Rs 5,111 crore, thus facilitating savings of Rs 10,122 crore per year."
Responding to the forum's demands, the government told it that only Rs 7,357.02 crore was being spent on the Rythu Bandhu scheme to help 59.21 lakh farmers, who owned a total of 147.14 lakh acres of land.
It also said that about 53.3 lakh farmers of the state, who had landholdings of 5 acres or less, were benefitting from the agri-welfare scheme.
The FGG often raises various pertinent governance and policy-related issues affecting Telangana - some months ago, the NGO had urged IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao to take steps for the immediate appointment of food inspectors
in the state, to prevent incidents of adulteration of food.