Farmers in Maharashtra to Get Government Money Directly in Bank Accounts

Maharashtra has decided to credit farmers’ money directly into their bank accounts on either a monthly basis or yearly basis. According to the state government officials, the amount could be anything in between Rs 5,000 - Rs 10,000 a year. A senior official told, “Officials from the finance and agriculture departments will hold a meeting this week to see how the money could be given to the farmers”.

Another official said that the government is studying different methods — from that followed by Telangana state to that by Odisha. Telangana gives Rs 4,000/acre to a farmer in a sowing season and Odisha, on the other hand, gives Rs 5,000/ cropping season to small as well as marginal farmers in the state.

As per sources, Maharashtra government is considering something on the line of Odisha since Telangana has not put a limit on the number of acres held by a farmer while distributing the cash. In view of that, in Telangana, even a 50 to 100-acre landholding makes a farmer eligible for the money. According to discussions with officials, there might be a limit on the number of acres that a farmer could obtain, ranging from 2.5 to 5 acres. They said “This will cover the small as well as marginal farmers and will benefit them. And if you extend to farmers with more than 5 acres, then the plan would be unsustainable for the state”.

It will be difficult for the state to meet the expenses even after keeping the farmers with more than 5 acres of land outside the largesse boundary. It must be noted that Maharashtra is reeling under an a-Rs 4-lakh crore debt burden that is increasing exponentially every year. It paid Rs 28,220 crore as interest in 2017. Hence if it starts another monthly or yearly pay-out, it will increase further.

Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra Revenue Minister on 5th January has mooted the idea of growers depositing a particular amount - ranging from Rs 10,000 - 50,000 with the government. Maharashtra would then add Rs 10,000 to this and give to farmers at equated monthly instalments.

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