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More Than 70 lakh Farmers to Benefit from Budget

About 73.4 lakh agriculturists in the State of Tamil Nadu may be covered under the Central government’s proposed income support scheme for farmers.

Tooba Maher

About 73.4 lakh agriculturists in the State of Tamil Nadu may be covered under the Central government’s proposed income support scheme for farmers. 

As the scheme is applicable to those owning up to two hectares of land, there are 62.24 lakh farmers, who have less than one hectare and 11.19 lakh, holding up to two hectares, as per the provisional results of the Agriculture Census, conducted keeping 2015-16 as the base year. The results were made public in October 2018. 

However, the marginal and small farmers account for 92.5% of the total number with their landholdings having a combined share of around 62.35% in Tamil Nadu. Officials dealing with issues concerning farmers are of the view that though there will be some implementation issues, the scheme can be rolled out in the State, given the level of digitization of land records. 

Adding to it, the system of paying compensation or relief assistance through bank accounts is in place. A large number of them have taken insurance covers also. 

According to S. Ranganathan, a veteran farmer from Mannargudi in Tiruvarur district said that in about 10% of cases, there can be a mismatch while integrating database on land holding with that of bank accounts of beneficiaries. 

Giving the example of his district with regard to the provision of Cyclone Gaja relief, he also said that while the number of beneficiaries in his district runs to several lakhs, the bank account details have been found to be wrong with respect to approximately 1,500. 

However, V. Sathyanarayanan, another agriculturist from a village near Needamangalam in the same district, said that in the Cauvery delta where cultivators and land owners are generally different, the authorities will have to ensure that the cultivators get the benefit, without providing them any scope for claiming ownership over the lands. 

He also expressed dissatisfaction over the Centre’s move of covering only small and marginal farmers. A senior policy maker said that before implementing the scheme in the State, a drive to ‘update and purify’ the land records should be undertaken, like it was done in Telangana where a similar scheme is in operation since April last year. 

Source: Hindu 


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