HYDERABAD: While the Rythu Bandhu scheme might have intended to benefit the farmers of the State, quite unintentionally it has also brought smiles on the faces of some IAS officers who are now richer by several lakhs of rupees. Here is how: officials in the state who had purchased agricultural lands just as investment are also being benefited by the scheme otherwise meant only for farmers.
Government sources have disclosed to Express that there are more than two dozen IAS officers who own large chunks of land in different parts of the state - something they purchased with their hard earned money. These lands have also been mentioned in their Immovable Property Returns (IPRs) that they are supposed to file every year.
As this is the first year of implementation of the Rythu Bandhu Scheme, the State government has decided to extend the monetary benefit to all the farmers having agriculture lands, irrespective of their financial status or raising the crops. According to sources, some of the IAS officers too are getting the cheques, and were pleasantly surprised, sources said.
Asked whether the IAS Officers Association has adopted any resolution to "give up" the monetary help, the official replied in negative.
"The IAS Officers Association did not pass any resolution to return the cheques received under the scheme. It is up to the individual officer to take a decision in this regard. I do not know of any individual officer taking any decision to return the cheques," an IAS officer, on condition of anonymity, told Express on Thursday.
According to sources, more than dozen IAS officers are supposed to get Rythu Bandhu money, up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh. It remains to be seen whether the All India Service (AIS) officers would respond to the call given to rich farmers by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to "give it up" the Rythu Bandhu amounts. However, the "give it up" is not mandated by the State government and it was purely optional on the part farmers.
TGOs TO GIVE IT UP
However, the Telangana Gazetted Officers (TGOs), during their talks with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday, that all the Gazetted officers of the State government would return their cheques. The Chief Minister appreciated their move.
MINISTERS GAVE IT UP
Endowments Minister A Indra Karan Reddy on Thursday returned his Rythu Bandhu cheque to the Nirmal Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) as part of the "give it up" call by the Chief Minister. Another Minister Thummala Nageswara Rao also returned a cheque for Rs1.45 lakh, which he got for his 36 acre agriculture land.