Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday launched the Biju Krushak Kalyan Yojana (BKKY) through which farmers would get health insurance coverage upto Rs 1 lakh.
Patnaik launched the scheme at Khamara village near Pallahara in Angul district, which would be implemented in all 30 districts and was expected to benefit an estimated 3 crore people, three-fourth of the state’s population.
“The priority of my government has been welfare of farmers. Odisha is the second state in the country where a special agriculture budget worth Rs 7,000 crore is presented.
We have been successful in irrigating about 50 per cent of the cultivable land,” Patnaik said appealing to the farmers to take benefit of BKKY.
There is no BPL or APL bar in the BKKY. About 60 lakh farmers’ families can take benefit from the health insurance scheme and as many as five members of a farmer’s family could get the insurance coverage according to provisions of the scheme, he said.
The scheme would be implemented by dividing the state into three zones like South, Central and North. Separate insurance companies have signed agreements with the state government to insure the farmers’ families, sources said.
The government’s decision to launch the pro-farmer scheme came amid severe criticism of the opposition parties that the ruling party was implementing the scheme keeping an eye on the ensuing Urban Local Body (ULB) elections in nine western Odisha districts and the coming general elections.
Terming the scheme as a “landmark” step towards betterment of farmers, Patnaik said, besides health insurance, farmers can also take benefit from the Odisha Treatment Fund where financial assistance upto Rs 3 lakh was given to poor people.