Uncertainty looms over PM-KISAN scheme in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Centre is all set to launch its flagship Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme in a few days time, doubts are being raised over the implementation of the scheme in Odisha thanks to State government’s apparent callousness.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the PM-KISAN scheme during a two-day farmers’ conclave at Gorakhpur on February 24. With its launch, the Central government will release Rs 2000 to each beneficiary through direct benefit transfer mode. The scheme promises Rs 6,000 per annum in three equal installments to small and marginalized farmers with land holding up to two hectares.

However, in Odisha, where the State government is busy in implementing its own KALIA scheme, talks are doing rounds that it is yet to begin necessary process for implementation of the Central scheme.

While Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider inclusion of landless labourers, sharecroppers and vulnerable households under the PM-KISAN, Assam and Jharkhand have sought explanation from the Centre over implementation of the scheme and West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have asked for more time from the Centre to implement the scheme.

State Agriculture Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera has also said that Odisha might also seek more time from the Centre to implement the scheme.

“All officers are busy in implementation of the KALIA scheme, but still we are talking all steps to provide the list of beneficiaries to the Centre. We will discuss the viability of implementation and see what can be done to meet the deadline. If it is not possible we will seek more time,” said Sashi Bhusan Behera said.

However, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has questioned the decision of the State government saying that if more than 40 to 45 lakh farmers of the State can get benefits from the scheme, why is Naveen-led government reluctant to implement it.

“I request CM Naveen to quit his stubborn attitude and ensure that PM-KISAN scheme gets implemented so that farmers can get the benefits,” said Pradhan.

The State government is scheduled to release Rs 5000 to around 12 lakh small and marginal farmers during the second phase benefit transfer under the KALIA scheme during CM Naveen’s visit to Sohela of Bargarh district on February 21.