Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday refused to send any report to the Centre as a mark of protest while announcing that the state government will pay Rs 10,000 per acre as compensation for the crops damaged in 2.28 lakh acres of land due to hail storms and unseasonal rain.
Recalling that the Centre had turned a deaf ear to all such complaints in the past, he said there was no point in sending any report to the Centre and called for a new integrated agricultural policy.
The chief minister today visited Khammam, Mahabubabad, Warangal and Karimnagar districts and interacted with farmers to assess the damage to crops after unseasonal rain and hail storms destroyed the crops in several districts.
“The Central government has turned a deaf ear to our cries for help. As a mark of protest we will not send any report to the central government to assess crop loss,” said the chief minister while speaking to reporters at Khammam.
He went on to add that his government was “farmer-friendly” and ready to spend Rs 228 crore to help the farmers and the funds will be released in an hour. He said they do not want to rely on the Centre since it takes at least six months to reply and moreover the compensation amount was paltry – only Rs3000 for maize and Rs5400 for paddy.
The NDA Government at the Centre has also not responded positively to farmers who suffered due to natural disasters in the past, he pointed out.
The Telanganga chief minister promised to extend help to tenant farmers and fresh rules for Rythu Bandhu scheme will be framed for them in the areas affected by hail storm to compensate the sharecroppers. The administration of the affected districts will distribute financial aid as soon as possible.
It may be noted here that Telangana has opted out of the Prime Minister’s Fasal Bima Yojana along with other states such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat and West Bengal. However, unlike the other states it has not framed any local crop insurance scheme and hence farmers suffering crop losses have not received any compensation for the past three years, according to farmers’ organisations.
Rao, who is currently dabbling in national politics, has declared that his newly-baptised party, the BRS, was friendly towards farmers with the slogan “Ab ki bar kisan sarkar” with one the first wings of the party set up in different states is the kisan cell to woo the farming community.