On Monday, Union Minister of Culture and Tourism G Kishan Reddy spoke out about the ongoing issue of crop losses in Telangana. He stated that Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao has been blaming the Centre for the problem and called on state officials to use Central funds through the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to provide compensation to farmers. Reddy accused KCR of spreading false information about the Centre for his own publicity while farmers continue to suffer from crop losses.
Reddy explained that the Centre had introduced the PM Fasal Bhima Yojana to address crop insurance coverage, which the State government initially joined but later withdrew from without any reason. This has left farmers in Telangana without any coverage for crop losses due to natural calamities. However, farmers in other states are receiving benefits from the scheme where it is implemented.
The Union Minister also pointed out that the State’s share in the SDRF is only 25%, while the Centre’s share is 75%. From 2014-15 to date, the Centre has released Rs 2,196.60 crore to the State SDRF, along with an additional Rs 873.27 crore under NDRF. In total, the Central government has provided Rs 3,069.87 crore to Telangana through SDRF and NDRF. For 2022-23, the Centre has already contributed Rs 188.80 crore, with another installment of the same amount to be transferred to the State SDRF.
Reddy emphasized that as of April 1, 2022, the State SDRF account had a balance of Rs 608.06 crore, and with the release of the Central share for 2022-23, the SDRF now has a corpus of approximately Rs 860 crore. He urged the State government to use these funds to provide assistance to farmers who have lost their crops.
In conclusion, Reddy criticized the Chief Minister for focusing on blaming the Centre and gaining publicity instead of understanding the plight of farmers and helping them. He demanded that the State government provide compensation from its treasury in addition to the compensation given by SDRF if they are truly concerned about the farmers.