190629 G.O Rt.No.11 Disaster payment
Telangana Government has released Rs. 2234.15 Lakhs towards input subsidy (disaster compensation under natural calamities) for 51,518 farmers who lost their crops in 28,200.71 ha due to heavy rains between 11th to 23rd August, 2018 across 12 districts of Telangana.
The payment of input subsidy will be done directly to the bank accounts of the farmers which should be aadhar linked as far as possible
payments would be made within 90 days from release of funds
every farmer would be eligible only for one disaster compensation in the same agricultural season.
Why Telangana election might just become a proxy battle between TRS and farmers
By CR Sukumar, ET Bureau | Dec 01, 2018, 11.00 PM IST
Agriculture is a major economic activity in the state, where about 41.75 lakh hectares or 37.25% of land is under cultivation.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) seems to be on a damage-control mode. With assembly polls due on December 7, he has been on a whirlwind tour of the state to ensure that a scheme his government launched to help farmers does not backfire.
Rythu Bandhu, the farmers’ investment support scheme announced in February, offer cash benefit of Rs 8,000 an acre (Rs 4,000 each in kharif and rabi seasons) annually to agricultural landowners. The scheme, however, excluded “tenant farmers”, or those who till the land but have no legal ownership on it.
The government issued “pattadar passbooks” to beneficiaries, the landowners, while deleting the column on tenants from the passbooks. The government said the idea was to clean up land records and help identify owners of the land. The state, which has earmarked Rs 12,000 crore for the scheme in 2018-19, said if the passbooks are not linked with Aadhaar, the land concerned could be considered benami.
Civil society activists and farmers’ union representatives, however, say it is a deathblow to tenant and tribal farmers in the state as they will not get any money despite being the cultivators. A sister scheme called Rythu Bheema offers group life insurance.
Telangana has 57 lakh agricultural landowners, according to government records. But there are no official records on the number of tenant farmers; estimates, however, say a large number of farmers are tenants.
Agriculture is a major economic activity in the state, where about 41.75 lakh hectares or 37.25% of land is under cultivation. In the 1980s and ’90s, thousands of landlords, mostly in the northern region of the state, had left their villages due to Naxal violence. The rebels distributed lakhs of acres owned by these landlords to poor and landless farm labourers. But these marginal farmers do not have the title to the land.
The tenant farmers pay the landowners rent or give them a share of the produce. The cultivator bears the risk of crop failure. With the fire of discontent due to Rythu Bandhu threatening to spread across the state, the KCR-led Telangana Rashtra Samithi has promised alleviating measures.
The party’s manifesto committee chief K Keshava Rao says the issues being faced by the poor farmers will be addressed. The final manifesto that will be released by December 2 will take care of the small and marginal farmers, he says.
KCR has promised to address the issues of tribal farmers and give passbooks to them, too, within six months of coming to power. He continues to be silent over the fate of tenant farmers. Downplaying the issue, TRS’ deputy floor leader in Parliament B Vinod Kumar says the government has after a deep and careful study decided to delete the “possession” column from the pattadar passbooks. This column was deleted to clean up land records and because the column was also leading to disputes between landowners and tenant farmers, he says.
“The government will extend the Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bheema benefits to tenant farmers provided there is a formal tenancy agreement with landowners.” To matters worse for tenant farmers, banks disqualify them from loans if their names are not on the passbooks. Having the government-issued loan eligibility cards is another way for these people to get credit access.
“The KCR government’s move has taken away the limited privileges that tenant farmer had for decades,” says Kanneganti Ravi, a member at the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and convenor of the Telangana Rythu Joint Action Committee. “Forget about getting Rythu Bandhu money, now these tenant farmers cannot even claim any government benefits or relief measures. They cannot access bank loans either.”
Almost all political parties are promising to extend the scheme to other sections of farmers and also increasing the sop to Rs 10,000 a year from Rs 8,000 now. However, an association of the scheme’s beneficiaries, Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bheema Labdidarula Samakhya, has raised objections.
L Pandu Ranga Reddy, president of the body, says it will be difficult to identify tenant farmers as the column in the passbooks pertaining to tillers has been removed. “No landowner would give in writing to a tenant that the land has been leased.”
In June, the TRS government said new passbooks were being issued to some 57.24 lakh farmers and cheques have been issuedto 52.64 lakh farmers who have linked their passbooks with Aadhaar. About 90% of the beneficiaries have been covered and the balance 10% would be covered as soon as some technical errors were sorted out, it said.
The state has released Rs 6,000 crore in the first round. The second round of Rythu Bandhu cheques have also been disbursed but details of the number of farmers and amount aren’t available. The scheme has only helped rich landowners get financial assistance running into lakhs, says Bhutham Veeraiah, general secretary of the Telangana Rythu Kooli Sangam, an affiliate body of CPI-ML. During the first tranche of Rythu Bandhu cash disbursals, in May, there were several news reports of rich farmers coming to their villages in high-end cars to receive the cash benefit.
“The Rythu Bandhu scheme has benefited the absentee landlords more than the cultivating farmers,” says Veeraiah. Nearly 80% of agricultural land in villages are being cultivated by tenant farmers, he said, though government records show otherwise. A large number of tenant farmers have plots up to three acres to cultivate.
“The scheme was not made applicable to tribal farmers either — this section cultivates on about seven lakh acres of forestlands. Similarly, tenant farmers cultivating around 1.5 lakh acres of endowment lands and waqf lands were also denied the scheme.”
In a state that comes second in farmer suicides, after Maharashtra, says Ravi, tenant farmers bear the brunt all the time. Land revenue officials had even stopped recording the names of tenant farmers for several years now, he says.
A study by his non-government organisation, Rythu Swarajya Vedika, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences showed more than 75% of the farmers in Telangana who killed themselves between June 2014 and April 2018 were tenant farmers, and 94% were marginal, small and landless farmers. The study also found that most farmers who killed themselves had no access to bank loans and were heavily dependent on moneylenders. Nearly half of these farmers had no outstanding bank loans but had an average of Rs 4 lakh per head of private loans.
“Our study showed that most of these tenant farmers couldn’t benefit from the loan waiver schemes often announced by governments as they were denied formal bank loans. Though the Andhra Pradesh Land Licensed Cultivators Act-2011 provided loan eligibility cards to tenant farmers, it was not implemented effectively. In some instances, thanks to certain proactive district collectors, a few thousand tenant farmers were granted loan eligibility cards.”
Referring to the body blow from the TRS government, Ravi says, “Some 20 lakh tenant farmers across the state are now frustrated that they have been denied Rythu Bandhu support, bank loans and loan waivers.” Rythu Bandhu has made landlords return to villages. They are threatening the tenant farmers tilling their land, says Veeraiah of CPI-ML.
“In many instances, the absentee landlords, now back in control as their names are on the pattadar passbooks, have forced the tenant farmers to buy their land.” He says the distress is high in the districts of Karimnagar, Warangal, Komuram Bheem-Asifabad, Adilabad, Khammam, Bhadrachalam-Kothagudem, and Jayashankar-Bhoolapalli, and some parts of Mahabubnagar and Medak. The situation has started getting more politicised now.
In its election manifesto, the Congress led coalition, People’s Front, has promised to extend the benefits of Rythu Bandhu to tenant and tribal farmers. “There has been widespread discontent among the farmers in Telangana since the TRS government’s land regularisation scheme recognised the rights of historical owners of the land rather than the tenant farmers, who account for over a third of the farmers in the state,” says Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, chairman of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee’s Campaign Committee.
Land rights were always central to many critical movements in the region, including the peasant rebellion of the late 1940s and the Naxal movement in 1960s and 1970s.
“The ensuing elections in Telangana will be a fight between the common people and feudal forces,” adds Vikramarka. In a communique dated October 13 that was distributed in the affected areas, state secretary of Communist Party of India (Maoist) Haribhushan said: “The TRS government has retrieved land from Dalits, tribals and downtrodden communities in the guise of land resurvey and handed the lands back to the landlords. The Rythu Bandhu and Rythu Bheema schemes were actually aimed at benefiting the rich farmers and landlords. These schemes have hurt the poor farmers.” Echoing similar views, Telangana Jana Samithi President M Kodandaram says thousands of farmers across the state have lost their rights because of the government’s programme.
“In many cases, farmers weren’t issued passbooks. They could not get Rythu Bandhu money or bank loans. The state’s farm sector is under severe distress today as agriculture products are not getting remunerative prices. The loan waiver promised by TRS is yet to come.”
Another factor has added to the farm distress. Tenant farmers who agree to pay landlords higher upfront rent to grow commercial crops such as cotton and chillis ended up with huge losses as market prices were unremunerated, says Veeraiah. Adverse feedback from lawmakers and ruling party cadre on the growing distress at the ground level may have made the chief minister rethink on denying benefits to tenant and tribal farmers, says political analyst Manchala Srinivasa Rao.
“For the first time, KCR has acknowledged the issues facing tribal farmers. At public meetings in north Telangana, which has a high population of tribal farmers, he was seen repeatedly promising them that he would soon confer them with rights to the forestlands that they have been cultivating on for decades,” adds Rao.
The farmer discontent comes even as the state is yet to address the woes of at least 50,000 farmers who lost their lands to government projects — especially the Kaleshwaram irrigation project and Singareni Coal Collieries’ open cast mining — but have not received compensation according to the Land Acquisition Act 2013, says Rachna Reddy
Bollu, the advocate who has fought dozens of farmer cases in various courts. Going by the turmoil in rural Telangana, the forthcoming elections might well turn into a battle over cultivating rights of agricultural land, and, therefore, a proxy battle between the KCR-led TRS and distressed farmers.
140813 Loan Waiver GO Telangana
The eligible amount for debt waiver would be limited to the amount of loan (together with applicable interest), which is disbursed and outstanding as of 31st of March, 2014 or Rs.1,00,000 per farmer family whichever is lower. The farmer family is defined as head of the family, spouse and dependent children.
The following loans/accounts shall not be eligible under the Crop Loan Waiver Scheme.
a) Advances against pledge or hypothecation of agriculture produce other than standing crop
b) Tied loans
c) Closed crop loan accounts
Short term production loan means a loan given in connection with the raising of crops which is to be repaid within 18 months. It will include working capital loan, for traditional and non-traditional plantation and horticulture.
Implementation Guidelines of the Scheme
a) Preparation of list of farmers with outstanding crop loan dues and arriving at the amount of claim
i) Each lending institution – bank branch – which has disbursed short term crop loans to farmers shall prepare village-wise list of farmers with outstanding crop loan dues as on March 31, 2014 in the prescribed format (Annexure-A).
ii) Each lending institution, shall also prepare a village-wise list of farmers who have outstanding dues as on March 31, 2014 in respect of crop loans taken against gold in the prescribed format (Annexure-B).
iii) The list of farmers in Annexure-A and Annexure-B should be compared by the Bank Branch Manager and a final list of farmers who have outstanding crop loan and limited to a maximum extent of Rs.1.00 lakh should be prepared by the Bank Branch Manager in the format designed in Annexure-C. One copy of Annexure-A, B, C should be sent by the Bank Branch Manager each to LDM and District Collector.
iv) Some of the farmers might have taken crop loan/agriculture gold loan for crops from more than one bank branch of same bank or another bank. Hence, for eliminating the duplication/multiple financing and restricting the benefit of loan waiver of Rs.1.00 lakh per farmer family, a Bankers meeting at Mandal level will be convened by the JMLBC (Joint Mandal Level Bankers Committee) Convener. At the JMLBC meeting all the Banks will come with the lists of eligible farmers prepared in the proforma as in Annexure-A, B & C prescribed by the Government, and compare the list of farmers in Annexure- C with Annexure- C list of other bank branches in the mandal belonging to all the other banks (commercial, rural, cooperative). The mandal Tahsildar will also check all names in Annexure- C of all banks in the mandal and will verify if there are any fake pattadar pass books and also if all loanees have farm land. After this verification any false claims will be deleted. Then the farmer family who have availed loans from more than one bank branch will be identified by the JLMBC members. Their details will be recorded by the JLMBC in Annexure- D. The Co-op. Dept. auditors under the supervision of District Co-op. Audit Officer shall cross verify the A, B, C with D list pertaining to PACs and DCCBs. The DCAO shall allot the auditors to Mandals under his jurisdiction under intimation to the District Collector. A senior officer not below the rank of Deputy Collector and nominated by the District Collector will be the observer for this meeting. The Annexure-D thus prepared in JLMBC will be shared by all bank branches at the mandal level.
v) After comparing and deleting farmer family who have taken loan in more than one bank branch (Comparing Annexure C and D) each bank will prepare Annexure-E. It is to be noted that if a farmer family has multiple accounts but overall outstanding for crop loan is less than Rs.1.00 lakh, then their name will not be deleted. In case outstanding crop loan is more than Rs.1.00 lakh, then the name will be retained in the bank where the farmer family first availed the crop loan or where the outstanding amount is higher, the latter being the first priority. Annexure-E will be the final list of farmers bank branch wise who will be eligible for loan waiver.
vi) Annexure-E will be exhibited village wise and social audit conducted by a team consisting of MPDO, Tahsildar, AR (SDLCO)/Sl.& Branch Manager or his representative. After conduct of social audit and finalization of all objections received the final list of farmers bank branch wise will be prepared in Annexure-E (final). After the social audit and after taking into account the objections of villages, if any, a final village-wise list of eligible farmers along with the amount eligible for waiver shall be prepared Annexure ‘E’ and displayed at all bank branches after due authentication. The final list shall be sent to the LDM and the District Collector in Annexure-E.
vii) A District Level Bankers’ meeting will be convened (DCC) by the LDM and district details of loan waiver bank wise, farmer wise will be recorded and sent to SLBC in Annexure-E. SLBC will intimate Bank wise, Branch wise farmers eligible amounts to be released to the Government in Annexure-E.
b) Claim reimbursement by the Government to the lending institutions
i) The final list shall be consolidated village-wise and district- wise by convening a meeting of the District Level Bankers’ Committee. After consolidating all such lists from the districts, the banks would need to raise a claim with the Government, which would be reimbursed to the banks.
ii) After adjustment of loan waiver amount by the State Government, each branch shall certify the amount of outstanding crop loans waived after duly crediting the amounts in the crop loan accounts of farmers. Before crediting the amount, an undertaking should be taken from the farmer in that he shall repay the amount of waiver if it is found subsequently that he/she has fraudulently obtained the crop loan or is found not eligible for crop loan waiver under the Scheme. A certificate of loan waiver in Annexure ‘F’ shall also be issued by the bank branch to each farmer, whose outstanding loan has been waived. The amount of loan waiver shall be consolidated bank-wise for the entire State.
iii) A meeting of the JMLBC shall be convened within one month of the completion of procedures laid down in i) and ii) above.
After the completion of procedures in i) and ii) above, the auditors of the Cooperation Department shall take up the audit of Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies to ensure accuracy of the waiver amounts and shall submit the audit report to the Chief Auditor. The books of accounts of every lending institution that has granted crop loan waiver shall be subject to an audit in accordance with the usual procedure prescribed by RBI / NABARD. The audit may be conducted by concurrent auditors, statutory auditors or special auditors.
Obligations of lending institutions
Every lending institution shall be responsible for the correctness and integrity of the list of farmers eligible under the scheme and the particulars of crop loan waiver in respect of each farmer. Every document maintained, every list prepared and ever certificate issued by a lending institution for the purpose of the scheme shall bear the signature of an authorised officer of the lending institution.
Monitoring and Grievance Redressal
There will also be a suitable monitoring and grievance redressal mechanism established at Mandal, District and State levels and every representation has to be disposed off within 30 days. Detailed orders in this regard would be issued separately.
Fresh Lending and agriculture campaign
Since the eligibility for loan waiver is decided based on the outstanding crop loan as on March 31, 2014, along with the interest on it computed up to the date of implementation to be notified by the State Government, and the liability will be taken over by the State Government. All the bankers should commence fresh lending of crop loans immediately. For clarity, it is reiterated that the eligible loan amount as computed by following the prescribed procedure shall be reimbursed irrespective of its renewal subsequent to 31-03-2014.
(BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR OF TELANGANA)
APC & PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT.
The Commissioner & Director of Agriculture,
Government of Telangana, Hyderabad.
The Principal Secretary to Chief Minister.
The P.S. to Hon’ble Minister (Agri & A.H.)
The P.S. to Chief Secretary.
The Finance (EAC) Department.
The Accountant General, Telangana, Hyderabad.
The Pay and Accounts Officer, Telangana, Hyderabad.
Farmer Suicides in Telangana State since 2nd June, 2014 #AgrarianCrisis
|18||Padige Devaiah||12.06.14||58||M||Chinna Bohela||Sirisilla||Karimnagar|
|26||KRISHNA||18/6/14||28||M||GATLA GANAPUR||PEDDA MANDADI||Mahboobnagar|
|27||GODA RAMA SWAMY||19/6/14||46||M||JEELUGUPALLI||LINGALA||Mahboobnagar|
|33||Doddi Pushpa||05.07.14||30||F||Chetla Narsampalli||Doulathabad||Medak|
|39||Gaddam Vamseedhar Reddy||14.06.14||26||M||Chandupur||Chinnakodur||Medak|
|41||Gadige Vittalgoud||22.06.14||55||M||Bageeradha pally||ChinnasankaramPeta||Medak|
|44||R. Ashok Reddy||02.06.14||42||M||EllaReddy Peta||Thogutta||Medak|
|53||Boppanapally Rajaiah||09.06.14||45||M||Velmaneni gudem||Gurrampadu||Nallagonda|
|68||RACHAKONDA SHANKAR||26-07-2014||25||M||chervu annaram||kattangur||Nallagonda|
|70||KESANI.ADI REDDY||26-07-2014||45||M||gopavari gudem||NIDAMANURU||Nallagonda|
|76||Yetham Ilaiah||07.06.14||30||M||Kondapur||Station Ghanapur||Warangal|
|84||Samala Ramaswamy||26.06.14||60||M||Jawahar Nagar||Venkatapur||Warangal|
It’s time we acknowledged ecological impoverishment as one of the poverty indicators
Source: Prashant Ravi
On the face of it, the release of India’s latest poverty estimate and the decision to create the 29th state, Telengana, seem to be two unrelated developments. The media and public dialogues also, though hyper on both developments, did not see any link between the two. The discussion over poverty mostly revolved around what one can buy with Rs 28/day decided as poverty line figure for rural areas. As far as Telengana is concerned, the focus was on how prominent the demand for small states has become. And, of course, some talk about how small states aid development. Ecological poverty, however, failed to find any mention in these discussions. This is how the debate on governance issues in India consistently fails to acknowledge the centrality of ecology.
To join the dots, most of the demands for new states come from areas that are rich in natural resources but high on poverty index. Of the 20 areas demanding state-status from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, 15 have distinct socio-economic profiles. These areas predominantly depend on natural resources for sustenance. Or, one can say, they are biomass-based economies. Unlike immediately after Independence, now the demands for a separate state are not entirely based on linguistic or ethnic identities. Invariably, poor regions inside a state tend to demand separate administrative units, which could either be a separate state or a new district. Such regions, for years, have been citing regional development disparity as the main reason for their demand for a separate identity. It is a way of redrawing India’s ecological map—resource-rich areas do not want their assets to be used as raw materials for development elsewhere. But does having a separate state guarantee better access to local resources for communities? This is an important question because in such areas most of the poor depend on resources like forests and farms for survival.
Now, let’s look at the three small states created in 2001, when India last created new states after sustained demands. All the three—Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand—are rich in forest, water and land resources. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are suitable for analysing of whether new identities helped in better access to natural resources. This is because in both the states local ecology has been the economy of the impoverished and the two states together account for a significant proportion of India’s poor population. How have they performed in poverty alleviation as separate states?
The latest poverty estimate shows that despite a sharp drop in poverty, both the states have nearly double the poverty level of national average. Segregated data shows that tribal, forested and other mineral-rich districts contribute up to 70 per cent of the two states’ total poor. Chhattisgarh emerges as the country’s poorest state with around 40 per cent people below the poverty line. This is the same level of poverty that was reported before 2001 when the new states were created. This despite the fact that the state’s economic growth has been more than the national average. However, this is a pan Indian trend—states are reporting high economic growth but not a proportionate decline in poverty levels.
This brings into debate the ecological nature of India’s poverty. Current debates focus on impoverishment entirely as income poverty. Poverty in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand or, for that matter, rural poverty in general, is ecological since poor depend on the environment for survival. According to various income surveys, close to 70 per cent earning of a poor person comes from ecological sources. In forested areas, forest products contribute 80 per cent of the local people’s income.
With the creation of new states in 2001, India had its first brush with ecological states. Many hoped that control over natural and ecological resources would help redefine the state of poverty in these states. Everybody believed that the new states would, at least, frame policies that reflect the ecological reality. In an anti-climax, both the states first declared industry policy to exploit the vast mineral resources and sold land at cheap rates as a bonus. This reflects in the current state of affairs in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Just like before their formation, there is a sharp division within the new states: two warring groups are fighting over resources. The same old model of development continues. Naturally, the residents of resource-rich areas feel further marginalised. No surprise they continue to be poor.
This is where those euphoric over Telengana need to pause and review the past experiences. The debate over poverty line must get real and accept ecological poverty as the real poverty indicator.