Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo on Thursday said that the KALIA scheme will converge with the Centre's PM-KISAN Yojana for the benefit of farmers.

"Even though Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme will be converged with the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), the KALIA scheme will continue for the farmers," said the Minister.

Sources said the state government is in discussion with the Union Agriculture Ministry to finalise the modalities for the merger of the scheme.

As per the plan, instead of Rs 10,000 under the KALIA scheme, the state government will now give Rs 4,000 to farmers while the remaining Rs 6,000 will be given to farmers under the PM-KISAN yojana, sources added.

Since PM-KISAN has no provision for the landless farmers, the state government will continue to pay Rs 12,000 per year under the KALIA scheme.

Meanwhile, Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) convenor Akshay Kumar said the state government has cheated the farmers with the proposed merger of KALIA and PM-KISAN.

"Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has cheated 75 lakh farmers in the state. Farmers will lodge FIRs against the Chief Minister on December 16," said Kumar.

The opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also criticised the state government for failing to provide assistance to the farmers.

"KALIA scheme was an election gimmick. As the election is over, the government has backtracked from its promise. It's a mockery to the farmers," said Congress leader Ganeswar Behera.

BJP leader Bishnu Sethi said the state government is playing with the farmers by not giving the assistance under the scheme.

Under the KALIA scheme, financial assistance of Rs 25,000 per farm family over five seasons will be provided to small and marginal farmers. Besides, financial assistance of Rs 12,500 will be provided to each landless agricultural household for agricultural and allied activities.