Odisha govt prepares guidelines for Kalia scheme

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has prepared guidelines for implementation of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme.

“An implementation committee will be set up under the Chairmanship of Principal Secretary, Agriculture & farmers’ Empowerment comprising of the Principal Secretary/Secretary of Departments of Cooperation , Fisheries & Animal Resources Development and Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water to ensure smooth implementation of the scheme,” the notification reads.

On the other hand, a State Level Committee under the chairmanship of Collector-cum-district Magistrate shall be formed to review and monitor the implementation of the scheme.

Though the provision has been made for direct transfer of money to bank accounts of farmers, the first phase of disbursal will be made through camps.

Meanwhile, farmers have raised questions over the effectiveness of the scheme.

“For one crop the state govt will have to spend Rs 16,000 crore on farmers for 3 years but only Rs 10, 000 crore has been allocated. It seems like the government is trying to dupe people,” a farmer leader, Lingaraj, said.

On the other hand, elaborating on the Kalia scheme, Food and Supplies minister SN Patro said, “For rabi and kharif crops Rs 10,000 will be provided for three years. Besides, loan will be waived for farmers taking loans less than Rs 50,000 and they will get interest-free loan. The peasants will be insured.”

Meanwhile, Opposition slammed the State government over the Kalia scheme.

“While loan is waived for capitalists, why can’t farmers get relief?” asked Odisha PCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik.

“This is just another attempt to loot the people of the State in the name of Kalia scheme,” said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Declining the charges, BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash, said, “Farmers are jubilant because of the ‘Kalia’ scheme and opposition is against it only for political gains.”