In yet another sop to farmers, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced on Thursday that the state government would provide them financial assistance from the next fiscal to purchase fertilisers.
He said that the government will provide Rs 4,000 per acre to farmers, adding that the amount would be directly credited to the accounts of nearly 55 lakh farmers before the beginning of Kharif crop season in May.
Farmers in the state use 25 lakh tonnes of fertilisers every year.
The Chief Minister made the announcement when scores of farmers came to 'Pragathi Bhavan', his official residence, to thank him for fulfilling the promise of crop loan waiver.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has completed a Rs 17,000-crore loan waiver scheme with the release of Rs 4,000 crore towards the final installment last week. With this the TRS completed a major poll promise made in 2014.
The allocation for this, was made in the recent budget, for the year 2017-18.
During the recent budget session, the state's Finance Minister said that irrigation remained the top priority, and allocated Rs 23,675 crore for the sector. The allocation for agriculture was Rs 5,943 crore previously.
This included the waiver of farm loans
"Unprecedented in the country, we have waived loans of 36 lakh farmers amounting to Rs 17,000 crore. Now farmers have become debt free. I feel very happy now," the Chief Minister said.
"We are supplying seeds and fertilizers to farmers on time along with 9 hours free and uninterrupted power supply. We are encouraging micro-irrigation by giving more subsidies. We waived the loans. Inputs are a burden on farmers and we want to share it too," he added.
The TRS chief said the government had decided to bring in a qualitative change among the lives of farmers.
"This is the reason why we wanted to give water to 1 crore acres of land in the state. We are reviving tanks through Mission Kakatiya and supplying quality power for nine hours," he said.
However, the move was not without criticism, as Opposition parties accused the TRS government of preparing for the 2019 elections in the state.
Calling it a 'farce' and a 'mirage', BJP spokesperson Krishna Saagar Rao took to Twitter, to say that farmers were "hungry today, and CM KCR promises to feed them next year for free?"
CM KCR announced that Govt will provide Rs 4000 financial assistance per acre to farmers towards purchasing fertilisers from next year pic.twitter.com/ddmi8yyrd5â€” Telangana CMO (@TelanganaCMO) April 13, 2017
Scores of farmers came to Pragathi Bhavan today to thank Hon'ble CM for fulfilling the promise of clearing Rs 17,000 cr Crop Loan debt pic.twitter.com/W5zo7nlTVHâ€” Telangana CMO (@TelanganaCMO) April 13, 2017
Another bold & pioneering decision by our Hon'ble CM Sri KCR to provide Fertilizers free of cost to 50 lakh plus Telangana Farmersâ€” KTR (@KTRTRS) April 13, 2017
Pathbreaking decision taken by T-govt, 100% fertiliser subsidy to all the farmers of Telangana from next financial year.â€” Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) April 13, 2017
This decision will give immense confidence to farmers. It will cut down informal loans that farmers take & suffer paying high interest ratesâ€” Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) April 13, 2017
55 lakhs farmers will benefit with this decision."Village farmers committes" will be formed & each farmer will be mapped with land holdingâ€” Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) April 13, 2017
Subsidy money will be directly transfered into farmer's account to prevent inconvenience & corruption.â€” Kavitha Kalvakuntla (@RaoKavitha) April 13, 2017
Farmers are hungry today & CM KCR promises to feed them next year for free? #CMKCR free fertilizer scheme is a farce & another mirage.â€” Krishna Saagar Rao (@BJPKrishnasagar) April 13, 2017
Instead of coming to rescue of distressed farmers, #CMKCR is making empty promises. Not even temporary relief provided to the distressed.â€” Krishna Saagar Rao (@BJPKrishnasagar) April 13, 2017