CM KCR at the 4th Meeting of the Governing Council of National Institution for Transforming India

Monday, June 18 2018

CM KCR at the 4th Meeting of the Governing Council of National Institution for Transforming India 10:15 AM CM KCR's Statement 1. On behalf of the Government and people of Telangana, I take this opportunity to convey my deep sense of gratitude to Hon'ble Prime Minister for inviting us to the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in the true spirit of Cooperative Federalism. Since the previous meeting of the Governing Council, several initiatives had been taken up by Government of India at the national level and by my colleague Chief Ministers in their respective States. We have to learn from each other to accelerate the overall pace of development in the country. In this connection, I would like to share some of the initiatives taken up by the State of Telangana with all of you. 2. We have launched a scheme called "Rythu Bandhu" (friends of farmers) providing Rs.4,000/- per acre per crop as agriculture input assistance. As there are more than 98% small and marginal farmers in Telangana, it makes sense to cover all the farmers to avoid unnecessary screening. The scheme also envisages "give it up" provision where farmers can surrender their cheques. I would also like to allay unfounded fears of some that Rythu Bandhu Scheme will distort the financial market. This "agricultural investment assistance scheme" does not distort the credit system, agriculture product prices and cropping pattern etc. 3. Another scheme started by us is "Rythu Bhima Yojana" for all the farmers in the State aged 18 to 60 years with the public sector giant 'LIC" insuring each farmer for Rs.5.00 lakhs in case of his / her unfortunate death due to any reason whatsoever. The State Government bears the insurance premium costing about Rs.1,000/- Crores per annum. Formal launch of this scheme is scheduled on 15th August 2018 covering about 50 lakh farmers. 4. Third most important area of agriculture reform is providing clear title over farm land. We have taken up a massive exercise of purifying the title of over 50 lakhs farm holdings in the State and have given them a Pattaadar Pass Book with embedded 17 security features. We are also planning to integrate registration and mutation process in a seamless manner. I am sure, with the help of express mutation, we would be able to develop a robust mechanism for hassle free land transactions in rural areas. Over a period of time, we would like to usher in similar reforms for urban properties as well. 5. In order to extending a helping hand to farmers we are also making massive investments in irrigation. Kaleshwaram and Palamoor Ranga Reddy Irrigation Projects, on rivers Godavari and Krishna, on completion are going to become the life line of Telangana. These Projects shall provide new irrigation facilities to farmers in over 26 lakh acres and in stabilization of 18 lakh acres in 24 Districts of Telangana. We are setting up new standards in completing various Mega Projects without any time and cost overruns. 6. Another major infrastructure development we have taken up for the overall growth of agriculture sector is construction of 356 agricultural godowns in the past 3 years with a storage capacity of 18.30 lakh MTs at a cost of Rs.1050 Crores. This is in addition to 170 godowns with a capacity of 4.17 lakh MTs storage capacity, and these godowns are distributed throughout the State depending upon potential for usage. This is helping farmers in many ways, like storage of agriculture produce in order to beat market fluctuations, storage of agriculture inputs like fertilizers, seeds etc. 7. I would like to mention that the growth of India lies in the growth of its states. Therefore the fast-growing states must be encouraged by tax incentives, if not by additional transfers from central funds. Further, we need to focus on agriculture and allied activities as an integrated sector and dairy, poultry, goat and sheep rearing, and fisheries should also be exempted from income tax. As a part of the initiatives for doubling the income of farmers, MGNREGA funds should be tagged to agriculture with 50% contribution from farmers to reduce the cost of their investment. 8. As my concluding remarks, I would like to say that the country is facing lots of challenges in the areas of external affairs, defence and macro-economic and global issues. Therefore in the changing global scenario, it should continue to give due attention to those issues and at the same time leave more space to the states in doing work in such sectors as health, education, urban development, agriculture and rural development and also remove the rigidness of certain centrally sponsored schemes that curtail the initiatives of the state government. I wish the meeting of the Governing Council a grand success. -Press note