What is the connection between farmer welfare schemes and land records?
As the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown heavily impacted the economy, to address the impact on the agricultural sector and fears over food security, the central government announced emergency direct transfer of funds to farmers through the PM KISAN scheme. Looking at the instrumental role that such welfare distribution frameworks play in times of crises, how can states implement such measures efficiently? How do such schemes work and how can they be improved?
In this episode of the ‘Land of a Billion’ podcast, host Abhishek Shah speaks to researchers Bhargavi Zaveri and Diya Uday at the Finance Research Group to understand the connection between farmer welfare schemes and land records. Specifically, we use the example of Telangana’s Rythu Bandhu Scheme to understand how such schemes can be optimised by using land records to streamline the beneficiary identification criteria.
Government welfare distribution schemes use a number of criteria to identify eligible beneficiaries. In many cases, the beneficiaries are required to furnish a vast array of paperwork in order to prove their eligibility for availing the benefit. As you listen on, you’ll see why this becomes a potential roadblock to efficient distribution.
In comparison, the Rythu Bandhu Scheme (RBS) in Telangana bypasses such roadblocks, and beneficiaries who were interviewed reported high degrees of satisfaction with the scheme. How did the RBS manage this? And what role did land records play here?
Tune in to find out!
Bhargavi Zaveri is a senior researcher at the Finance Research Group (FRG) at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR). Her primary research area is financial regulation. She also works on land-related policy issues in Maharashtra.
Diya Uday is a lawyer and senior research consultant at the Finance Research Group, and her areas of work include regulatory governance, land markets, access to finance, and state capacity.