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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The Odisha Government has initiated several schemes and projects with an aim to boost farming in the State. However, the 'tall' claims of the government seemed to have fallen flat. 

Reports of citizen feedback from farmers under the Mo Sarkar initiative have exposed the truth on how the much-hyped government initiatives have failed to wipe the tears of the farmers.

A few years ago, the State government had launched KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) as its flagship farmers' welfare initiative. The authorities had also announced subsidies for the procurement of paddy seedlings, fertilisers, and farming machines. But much to the disappointment, the farming community still suffers from the harassment of PC culture while availing a farming loan. Farmers are still forced to purchase paddy seedlings and fertilisers at lofty prices.

The government had constituted 5T action plan in 2019 with an aim to judge the performance of government officials and projects on basis of five factors, i.e. team work, technology, transparency, transformation and time limit. 

Some 5T feedback forms filed up by farmers have suggested that they are facing extreme troubles even before availing agricultural loans. Farmers have also alleged that the officials demanded more money while sanctioning agricultural loans and purchasing of fertilisers, and seeds.

While at some places, farmers are not getting the cooperation of officials, many are getting forced to pay PC for availing a loan without any option. 

"The government has announced several schemes for the benefits of farmers. But, even though we apply for a loan with the required documents, it doesn't get sanctioned unless we pay an amount as a bribe to the middlemen. People who deny to pay it don't get the loan," rued a Bargarh resident named Ramesh Mohapatra.

Meanwhile, after receiving the reports, Additional Secretary to the Government, Santosh Kumar Dash has sought a detailed report on the allegations from the District Registrar Cooperative Societies in different districts. Dash has asked officials to conduct enquiry as soon as possible so that further necessary action can be taken.

Meanwhile, political travesty has brewed up over farmer exploitation following the latest 'Citizen feedback' report. 

Congress Spokesperson, Debashis Pattnaik said, "No action will be taken against them. The officials have started works to turn everything and show a decent picture. As per my sources, Registrars have cleared up the airs stating everything to be fine and the Collectors will also do the same."

On the other hand, Pradeep Purohit, BJP Kishan Morcha President said, "Farmers are hitting the roads narrating their grief and despair, but, the government didn't pay heed to their cries. Now, it must have been understood after receiving the 'Citizen feedback'. Farmers are facing extreme troubles in availing loans or purchasing fertilisers and other equipment at subsidized price. Many don't even get it after completing their cultivation."

Meanwhile, BJD Spokesperson, Subash Singh has said, "We have initiated steps to look into the matter and are giving best efforts to solve the issues. 5T resolution's aim is to address the issues after learning it from the beneficiaries and ward them off, and we are doing so. We are achieving success and will achieve by addressing the public issues."

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