Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government will include farmers left out of Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme and disburse financial assistance to them till March 31, Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said on Monday.
This announcement gains significance against the backdrop of the earlier statement of Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Kumar, who on Sunday had said that the ongoing KALIA scheme will continue but the state government cannot add more beneficiaries under it.
The Finance Minister said that about 1 per cent to 2 per cent farmers of the state have been left out under the Kalia scheme and they will be included. “It is an ongoing project and the state government has kept options open for 20 lakh more farmers to ensure that no one is deprived of the benefit,” he said.
Under this scheme, the state government provides financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per family (Rs 5,000 each for the Kharif and Rabi season) to small and marginal farmers for taking up cultivation.
Replying a question on the Centre’s PM-KISAN scheme, Behera said, “We don’t have clarity as to why three to four lakh farmers have been excluded from the list sent to the Centre for enrolment under the central scheme. Let the Centre respond in this matter following which the state government will cooperate with the Centre for proper implementation of the scheme in Odisha.”
The Centre should consider the state’s proposal to include economically weaker and landless farmers under the scheme, he added.