Hyderabad: The government of Telangana spent Rs 2.7 lakh crore on agriculture and allied sectors during the last seven years, state minister and TRS working president K. T. Rama Rao said on Monday.
Of the total amount spent, Rs 50,000 crore were deposited in the bank accounts of farmers under Rythu Bandhu, the investment support scheme.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader dared both the BJP and Congress to show if any state ruled by them has done the work on par with Telangana in agriculture and farmers’ welfare.
“I am challenging both the parties to show if any state ruled by them has done what Telangana did in seven years under the leadership of K. Chandrasekhar Rao,” he said and slammed the leaders of both the opposition parties for criticising the TRS government.
He challenged the two parties to show if they have any scheme like Rythu Bandhu. “What Telangana does today, India does tomorrow,” he remarked while referring to some schemes announced by the Centre and some state governments after drawing inspiration from the schemes launched by Telangana.
Stating that TRS stands for Telangana Rythu Sarkar, KTR said no other state in the country implemented the kind of schemes launched here for the welfare of farmers.
“But some political tourists are coming here and criticising us. They just speak whatever they like. Let them show the data, if they have,” the industry and information technology minister said in an obvious reference to series of visits by top BJP leaders over the last one week.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were among the BJP leaders who visited the state and targetted TRS government.
KTR was addressing a news conference on the state reaching a milestone with the money deposited in farmers’ bank accounts under Rythu Bandhu reaching Rs 50,000 crore since the launch of the scheme in 2018.
The government is crediting Rs 5,000 per acre into the farmers’ bank accounts before the beginning of every crop season.
When the scheme was launched, the government was providing Rs 8,000 per acre per year (for both Rabi and Kharif seasons). The amount was enhanced to Rs 10,000 from 2019.
For the coming Rabi season, the disbursement of Rs 7,646 crore began in the last week of December. The cumulative assistance under the scheme touched Rs 50,000 crore mark on Monday.
“This day will be written in golden letters in the history of agriculture,” he said while thanking Chief Minister KCR on behalf of 65 lakh farmer families and 60 lakh TRS workers. He said the week-long celebrations to mark the occasion have been extended till Sankranti.
He recalled that under undivided Andhra Pradesh the conditions of farmers were miserable. The state was number one in the country in farmers’ suicide and was at the bottom in the procurement of agricultural produce. Farmers were raising loans just to dig borewells and were still not getting water. Even a farmer with 10 acres of land was forced to migrate to the city for livelihood. There was no electricity and the lands of farmers had no value.
KTR claimed that the agriculture sector has undergone a total transformation in the last seven years thanks to the schemes launched by KCR. The underground water table has improved and Telangana today is a centre for training of IAS officers in underground water management. The value of farmers’ land has gone up manifold.
He said according to the NCRB report, Telangana is number one state in reducing suicides by farmers. He claimed that Telangana has become ‘Annadata’ or food provider to the country. “Today Telangana is producing so much paddy that even the Food Corporation of India is unable to procure it,” he said.
KTR said the KCR government completed Kaleshwaram, which is world’s largest lift irrigation project and took several other measures including waiver of farm loans.