Odisha dilly-dallying over sending PM-Kisan beneficiary list to Centre?

Bhubaneswar: Though the Centre has set a deadline for the Odisha government to send the list of 46 lakh small and marginal farmers of the State to be included in the PM-Kisan scheme, the State government seems to be dilly-dallying over the matter.

The Odisha government has claimed that it has disbursed cash under Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme to 50 lakh farmers till now. However, for inclusion in PM-KISAN scheme, a list of  only 12,45,000 farmers has been sent to the Centre, out of which money could not be transferred to the bank accounts of nearly 3 lakh farmers due to lack of Aadhaar-linking and other reasons. As a result, many farmers in the State have received financial assistance under KALIA scheme, but not a penny under the PM-Kisan scheme.

“We used Rs 5000 that we received under KALIA scheme, but didn’t receive any money under PM-Kisan Yojana,” a farmer in Dharmagada, Pushtam Naik said.

Another farmer from Bhogarai in Balasore, Rabindra Jena said, “I have not received Rs 2000 which I was supposed to get under PM-Kisan Yojana. It would be of big help if that amount is disbursed.”

Union Agriculture secretary has demanded the list of 46 lakh small and marginal farmers from the Odisha government by July 31. On being asked about the inclusion of the farmers in the list, Odisha Agriculture minister Arun Sahu failed to come up with a clear reply.

“According to 2011 Agriculture census, a target was set to provide assistance to 46 lakh small and marginal farmers but no target was given for inclusion of large farmers. The Centre has asked for the list by July 31,” Sahu said.

According to the website of PM-Kisan, first instalment has been credited to the bank accounts of 9,36,139 farmers, whereas no farmers from Balasore, Berhampur and Bhawanipatna have been included. The website mentioning 33 districts of Odisha instead of 30 has also created confusion.

Responding to these queries, BJP said that the State government didn’t send the complete list of farmers due to elections, but now it should send the list soon.

Odisha BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty said, “Scared of PM Modi’s popularity, the BJD-led Odisha government didn’t send the list of farmers. It should go beyond politics and think about the welfare of the farmers.”

Meanwhile, Odisha government has allocated an additional Rs 3,234 crore for covering more farmers under the KALIA scheme during 2019-20, officials said on Friday.

Under the scheme, farmers get Rs 5,000 financial assistance per crop season. A farmer household is entitled to get Rs 10,000 per year for two crops (Kharif and Rabi), they said.

According to a notification issued by the Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment department, in accordance with the state Cabinet’s decision on May 29 to include 32.34 lakh additional beneficiaries under the scheme, more funds are being made available to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries get benefit.