State gears up to strike out fake KALIA Scheme beneficiaries

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to strike out the ineligible farmers availing the benefits of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, the State government has issued a new set of rules for identification of new beneficiaries. Also, the government has released a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to exclude ineligible farmers.

But the concern remains how the government will get back the money which has already been distributed to the farmers who will fail to meet the 14 parameters listed in the SOP.

As per the new set of rules, in case multiple members from an eligible family have received the KALIA money, the family members will have to return the money except the family head.

This apart, if a minor has received the money under the KALIA scheme then he/she has to return the cash given under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mechanism. Similarly, government official, pensioners, income tax payers, large and medium farmers, current & former MLAs, ministers, Zilla Parishad members and people holding constitutional posts will have to return KALIA money in case they have received the same.

Agriculture secretary Saurabh Garg said committees have been formed and field level verification and checking from the available database are being carried out to strike out ineligible beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, farmers have welcomed the decision of the State government.

“We welcome the State’s move as actual beneficiaries will be able to get the benefits,” said Bijala Kerketa, a farmer.

Earlier, in May, the government had increased the targeted coverage of KALIA scheme to 75 lakh farmer families from 42 lakh families.