KALIA scheme is like ‘old wine in new bottle’: NNKS

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha government announced Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme for supporting small and marginal farmers and landless agricultural labourers in the State, the Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) spear heading the ongoing farmers’ agitation dubbed the scheme as old wine in new bottle.

At a presser held today, NNKS coordinator Askhya Kumar alleged that the KALIA scheme is like old dress in new packing and an attempt of the State government to woo the farmers. Similarly, the State government is trying to avoid the basic issues of the farmers including price, pension and farm loan waiver.

Moreover, the agriculture minister himself cannot understand the contents of the KALIA scheme, alleged Kumar.

“The same livelihood support in NABARD and MGNREGS has now been prepared by the State government. It is not a new scheme rather an attempt to divert from the issue of price, pension and farm loan waiver,” said Kumar.

As per the KALIA scheme, the government has decided to provide small and marginal farmers financial support of Rs 10,000 per year at the rate of Rs 5000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons. Over 30 lakh farmers will be benefitted for purchasing pesticides and seeds through this scheme.

Secondly, livelihood support for landless households at Rs 12,500 per each family will also be ensured through this scheme. Landless farmers can avail any one of the several livelihood options like small goat rearing unit, dual purpose low input technology bird unit, duckery unit, fishery kit, mushroom cultivation or bee keeping.

“Nearly 92 per cent farmers in the State will benefit from the scheme. It is a historic decision taken by CM Naveen Patnaik,” said agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy.