Pradeep Pattanayak

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress on Friday claimed they have seen through the ruling Biju Janata Dal's (BJD) plan to extend KALIA yojana by three years and giving Rs 2000 to landless beneficiaries ahead of the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly Elections. 

The BJP alleged that the KALIA yojana extension is nothing but the BJD government’s bait thrown at the farmers with an aim to subdue the growing anti-government wave. 

“The BJD government is in fear and apprehension. When KALIA yojana was launched, the government had promised that farmers would get Rs 10,000 each. That promise was not kept. The government should immediately give them Rs 10,000 as they had announced in their election manifesto,” said BJP MLA, Mukesh Mahaling. 

Echoing the same, Odisha Congress media cell chairman, Biswaranjan Mohanty said, “Instead of providing facilities like irrigation, cold storage and input subsidy, the government has given a lollipop to farmers.”

Odisha Labour Minister Sarada Nayak responded to the allegations of the BJP and the Congress saying, “Finding fault in everything is the job of the Opposition.  KALIA yojana is one of the best schemes for beneficiaries. The yojana has been extended for three years with an allocation of Rs 6029.70 crore.”

Also Read: Odisha Cabinet okays Rs 6029 cr outlay for KALIA scheme till 2026-27, eases norms for disbursal of financial aid

As per the information shared by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the earnings of Odisha farmers are the second lowest in the country.  The monthly income of a farmer here is only Rs 5112. As a result, over 61 percent of farmers are under loan burden. In such a situation, the government’s announcement is being dubbed as a gimmick by farmer leaders. 

“The state government is treating us differently. When it comes to helping farmers, its mindset remains the same. The announced amount (Rs 4000) is a drop in the ocean. The yojana has been extended to woo farmers,” said Seshadeba Nanda, a farmers’ leader.

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  • JAGDISH DAS , KAPILENDRA PRADHAN
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