Himansu Shekhar Rout

Ahead of the elections, the Odisha Cabinet on Thursday approved the extension of the Farmers Welfare Scheme KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) by three more years and approved an estimated budget of Rs 6029.70 crore for 2024-25 to 2026-27. 

"For hassle-free and smooth implementation of this welfare scheme and to bring the farmers into the financial mainstream of the society and to ensure their participation in the financial progress of the State, the State Cabinet have approved an estimated budget of Rs 6029.70 crore for the up-coming three years (2024- 25 to 2026-27) which aims at benefiting all the farm families under KALIA schemes," said a government statement. 

The Cabinet has also given its stamp of approval to 15 other key proposals.

The Cabinet has eased the norms for the disbursal of financial assistance to farmers under KALIA by approving the modification in the implementation mechanism. 

As per previous norms, the financial assistance was being provided to the KALIA beneficiaries twice in a year before the cropping seasons i.e. any time from 01st April on-wards for the Kharif season and any time after 01st September of the year for the Rabi season. 

"For benefit and larger interest of the farmers of the State and to ensure the smooth purchase of agricultural inputs, the release dates of the KALIA assistance can be changed than the dates fixed earlier, as decided by the State Government from time to time. The assistance for LAH (Landless Households) shall also be released at the same time," the government said.  

Similarly, the Cabinet has approved the provision for additional financial support to landless farmers under the KALIA scheme. 

"Now, Rs 2,000 shall be provided as an one time additional financial support/ assistance, which will augment their livelihood activities and contribute substantially in enhancing their income and overall wellbeing," the government said.  

"Following a directive from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the State Cabinet approved an outlay of Rs 6029.70 crore for three years from 2024-25 to 2026-27 to mainstream farmers to financial progress and ensure the state’s partnership in this progress. All the farming families under KALIA will benefit from it,” said Agriculture Minister Ranedra Pratap Swain after the Cabinet meeting.

Speaking about the Cabinet meeting, Chief Secretary Pradip Jena said, "The State Cabinet has approved 16 proposals of 13 departments today. Among the approved proposals are three important agenda of the Agriculture Department and two proposals of the Housing and Urban Development.”  

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to set up a National skill centre at Jatana where the state government will provide 7 acre and 818 decimals of land with premium free. 

Also Read | Odisha BSE recommends strong action in AI-detected irregularities during Matric exam 

The Odisha Cabinet also approved the creation of promotional avenues for Panchayat Executive Officers (PEOs) working in Gram Panchayats. They will be promoted after completion of eight years of service. The educational qualification for initial recruitment of PEO has also been enhanced to the Plus 3 level. 

Moreover, the Cabinet approved the extension of the grant-in-aid at a revised scale in line with 7th Pay Commission for Non-Government Colleges, Junior Colleges and Higher Secondary Schools. This will come into effect from January 1, 2024. 

Approximately 1789 teaching and non-teaching employees of these institutions will benefit. Additional Rs 27.37  crore will be spent for the purpose.

  • Reported by: