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Devbrat Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Amid the ongoing verification and scrutiny of beneficiaries under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, State agriculture minister Arun Sahoo recently said that of the 36.88 lakh beneficiaries of KALIA verified so far, as many as 2.66 lakh were found to be ineligible. This means Odisha government has provided farm assistance of a whopping Rs 133 crore to ineligible beneficiaries, prior to the 2019 general elections. And that's not the end.

Digest the fact. With another 14 lakh-odd farmers yet to be verified, the number of bogus beneficiaries is also likely to increase, so as the cash assistance to them under KALIA scheme.

The Twitter populace on the other hand, reacted strongly in stark criticism against the above admissions made by the Agri Minister while some slammed the government alleging KALIA scheme as a big scam. Below are some of the reactions on Twitter…

Odisha government KALIA scheme

Odisha government KALIA scheme

Odisha government KALIA scheme

Odisha government KALIA scheme

As per sources, identification of all the KALIA scheme beneficiaries at panchayat level would be finished by August 27 while the same at block and district levels will complete by August 31.

Meanwhile, State BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty has demanded action against the officials engaged in beneficiary-identification process. "So far, 2.66 lakh ineligible beneficiaries have been identified and if we calculate, the amount of direct cash transfer to these bogus beneficiaries stands at Rs 133 crore. In the coming days, the amount may even reach Rs 200 crore. Action should be taken against the officials who initially selected ineligible beneficiaries under the KALIA scheme," he said.

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