HYDERABAD: With Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao announcing the Rs 7,500 crore disbursement farmers under the TRS government’s ‘Rythu Bandhu’ scheme from Monday, there was also a mention stating that farmers can sell their crop anywhere under the new farm laws and the state government need not set up purchase centres in villages. Interestingly this statement came after the CM’s visit to Delhi last week.
This set off a backlash among the Opposition parties where the Congress and BJP criticised the Chief Minister for this sudden change in decision to withdraw procurement centres.
The Telangana Congress accused him of not protecting the farmers from traders’ exploitation. They also accused him of shirking responsibility towards the farmers for not supporting them with the procurement centres during the coming rabi season. TPCC Chief Uttam Kumar and senior leaders also took a dig at the CM for his sudden U- Turn right after he showed solidarity to the protesting farmers in Delhi over the new Farm Bills proposed by the Centre, where the TRS senior ministers and leaders staged protests in Telangana recently.
Meanwhile the Telangana Unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) termed this as a “conspiracy” and selfish motive by the CM. BJP Telangana Unit president Bandi Sanjay said that they had been demanding the government to increase the number of procurement centres and the MSP. They questioned the true intent of the Government by taking this decision and if KCR was really keen on supporting the Farm Acts.
The Telangana Government on Monday stated in a release that losses were incurred because it bought the produce by paying minimum support price (MSP) but sold at lower rates in markets due to lack of demand. Ever since Telangana state was formed, the government had incurred losses to the tune of Rs 7,500 crore due to purchase of various crops by the state government, officials said at the meeting, the release said.
It is not possible to do the same thing not every time.The government is a business organisation or trader. Sale and purchase is not the responsibility of the government. It is not possible to set up purchase centres in the village from next year onwards the release said. The new farm laws being implemented in the country allowed the farmers to sell their crop anywhere. Hence, the state government need not set up purchase centres in the villages. But sale and purchase at the agriculture markets should be done properly,” it said.
The official also said the government should forthwith stop issuing guidelines on the crops to be cultivated and the farmers themselves should decide. There is no need for the Regulatory Farming policy. Farmers should decide by themselves what crops they should cultivate. They should sell their produce wherever it gets a more price, the release stated. (With inputs from The Hindu and PTI)