HYDERABAD: The Election Commission of India has given its nod for disbursement of 4,000 per acre to farmers towards agriculture investment under Rythu Bandhu scheme on the ground that it is an ongoing scheme. However, the permission came with a rider that the caretaker government can only transfer the money electronically but not distribute cheques by hand. Interestingly, the government had already begun distribution of cheques in some mandals in 11 districts on Friday.
Chief electoral officer Rajat Kumar received a letter to this effect from the ECI on Friday. The ECI gave this direction in reply to an e-mail clarification sought by agriculture principal secretary C Parthasarathi. In its communication, ECI principal secretary SK Rudola stated that ECI approved the scheme for “pre-identified”
However, the ECI’s nod for the distribution was with riders. The conditions of ECI are: No new beneficiaries should be added to the list of eligible beneficiaries. No publicity should be made in this regard. No public function should be organised for the distribution of kits/items in kind. No political functionary will be involved in the process of distribution. As far as possible direct and electronic transfer of cash component should be made through the account of the beneficiary. There should be no distribution cheques in this regard.
Earlier in the day, agriculture officials started distribution of Rythu Bandhu cheques in some villages in a low key manner.