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Farm loan waiver & Rythu Bandhu: Twin challenges for Telangana govt

While Congress could improve its Lok Sabha seat tally in Telangana from three in 2019 to eight, the performance was not on the expected lines.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 22:01 IST

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Hyderabad: In addition to the six guarantees, the Congress government in Telangana is faced with the twin challenges of farm loan waiver and an increase in Rythu Bandhu amount to Rs 15,000.

Apart from six guarantees, the Congress manifesto in last year's assembly polls had promised waiver of farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh each while increasing the Rythu Bandhu benefit to Rs 15,000 a year from the present Rs 10,000, besides bringing tenant farmers under the purview of the scheme.

However, the non-implementation of the farm loan waiver is a cause for concern among the farmers, due to which Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy during every election rally promised to waive off the farm loans before August 15.

While Congress could improve its Lok Sabha seat tally in Telangana from three in 2019 to eight, the performance was not on the expected lines. Now the government is racing against time to implement the farm loan waiver to offset some damage and gain politically.

Congress set a target to win at least double-digit Lok Sabha seats but had to settle for eight. In an embarrassment to Revanth Reddy, Congress lost the Lok Sabha segment that came under his home district of Mahbubnagar and also Malkajgiri, which was represented by him until last year.

August 15 deadline

According to preliminary government estimates, there are at least 47 lakh farmers who have taken farm loans, and the majority of them have loans less than Rs 1 lakh. Roughly, the government needs at least Rs 35,000 crore by August 15, the deadline fixed by Revanth Reddy to waive off farm loans.

According to reports, the government is considering several options to reduce the burden, such as using data from the PM Kisan Scheme as a baseline to determine eligibility for farm loan waiver. According to the scheme, there are approximately 33 lakh eligible beneficiaries.

If the beneficiaries are selected under the PM Kisan Scheme, the government would need only Rs 25,000 crore. This would exclude state and central government staff, income tax assessee, public representatives, etc.

Pressure is also mounting on the government to implement other key guarantees, such as a Rs 4,000 monthly pension for women, which will have a significant fiscal impact on the government.

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Published 17 June 2024, 22:01 IST

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