Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Making a volte face on its earlier stand, the ruling-BJD has requested the Centre to prepare a cohesive plan for Odisha by merging the State’s Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme with the PM KISAN programme.

BJD MPs Bhartruhari Mahatab and Prasanna Acharya during a debate on the Budget, suggested the BJP-led Central government that both Odisha’s KALIA scheme and the Centre’s PM-KISAN schemes should be amalgamated to lessen the financial burden on the Centre and pass on more financial benefits to farmers.

“I want to suggest the Centre that it should share 70 per cent of the KALIA scheme so that the State will bear 30 per cent fund required for the scheme. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also suggested the same during the NITI Aayog meeting. Let’s make it a cohesive programme where both the Centre and state can work together for overall welfare of farmers,” BJD MP from Cuttack Bhartruhari Mahatab said.

Participating in the debate in the Upper House, party MP Prasanna Acharya said, “Why doesn’t the Centre coordinate with States like Andhra Pradesh and Odisha and let the schemes be merged, thereby both the Centre and States can share the monetary burden. This will lead to better social security for farmers.”

The BJD parliamentarians push for the merger of schemes has raised many eyebrows as PM-KISAN is a central scheme and doesn’t have any share from States.

Political pundits are of the opinion that while the Odisha government been reluctant in implementing the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme, its demands for assistance over implementation of its own KALIA scheme has left many questions unanswered.

While the Congress has criticised the State government over the development, the BJP has said both the schemes should be implemented separately for more benefit of the farmers of Odisha.
“As the Centre is providing Rs 6,000 under its PM-KISAN scheme and the State is releasing Rs 10,000 under its KALIA scheme, the money together will decline the financial burden on the State government so CM Naveen Patnaik has intentionally asked his two party MPs to raise this issue in Parliament to get political mileage over the issue,” alleged Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Congress MLA.

In his reaction, BJP MLA Jayanarayan Mishra said there is no harm if the State government adopts both KALIA and PM-KISAN schemes. “Prior to launching the schemes, the State government should have worried about the funds. We want that Odisha farmers should get benefit of both the schemes,” Mishra added.

The State government had earlier released Rs 1,244 crore from contingency fund to distribute money among farmers under the KALIA scheme.