Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patmnaik on Monday officially launched the scheme, Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) what he called the biggest one for the farmers in Odisha.
CM Patnaik inaugurated the scheme throughout the districts by means of video conference.
KALIA that the Naveen Government has adopted as an alternative to the blanket loan waiver scheme for the farmers has been designed to provide financial assistance to the small and marginal farmers, even to the share-croppers. Ninety two percent of the farmers in the state will get cover in KALIA, the government counts.
Government estimates to spend Rs 10,180 crore over the next three years through the plan to provide cultivation assistance before the farm season, livelihood assistance to landless farmers, financial assistance to vulnerable farmers or farm labourers, life insurance and interest free loan.
Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the logo and website www.kalia.co.in on the occasion. Besides he released the district wise draft farmers’ beneficiaries list of 21.40 lakh subject to scrutiny before that will be finalized at the Panchayat level on January 15. Beneficiaries will receive financial assistance online in their account by January 25. Another two rounds of beneficiary finalizing exercises will take place to ensure that no deserving candidate for the scheme is left out.
The Odisha cabinet on December 21, had approved the scheme amid there was mounting demand for a loan waiver plan for the farmers from other political parties. And it took just ten days for its official launch on the New Year eve.
Two days back government has expanded the Odisha contingency fund to Rs 1600 crore from the existing Rs400 crore to feed the KALIA scheme. The move has invited the opposition to disapprove it utterly.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the day approached Governor of Odisha Ganeshi Lal complaining about state government’s vested interest in the scheme for political gain. They are not convinced why the contingency fund not budgetary provision for the scheme.
Union Minster Dharmendra Pradhan has criticized KALIA as move in haste in the election year seeing the public outcry all across the state. “Help of the contingency fund has been taken to implement the plan to make a show”, said the Minister from BJP.