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It’s raining freebies in State

Special Correspondent
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Naveen Patnaik distributes free mobile phones to farmers

FARMER-FRIENDLY:Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik handing over mobile sets to farmers at a programme in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA
FARMER-FRIENDLY:Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik handing over mobile sets to farmers at a programme in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.— PHOTO: LINGARAJ PANDA

The Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections are several months away. But it’s already raining freebies in the State. After bicycles, blankets and umbrellas it was time for distribution of free mobile phones on Tuesday.

While launching a Digital Mandi at a function held at the Exhibition Ground here, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik distributed free mobile phones to about 5,000 farmers who came from different parts of the State.

SMS on prices

The farmers will be provided free short messaging service (SMS) and voice calls relating to prices of various agricultural produce, weather and advice about agriculture with the help of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

A total of 20,000 farmers having Kisan Credit Cards will be provided free mobile handsets in the first phase as per the announcement made in the agriculture budget earlier this year.

Addressing the gathering, the Chief Minister termed 2013 as the year of farmers’ welfare and expressed hope that the farmers would be benefited by the Digital Mandi and mobile phone to keep track of the prices of agricultural produces and get the right price for their produce.

Giving details of the measures that his government had taken for the benefit of farmers, including the health insurance scheme, Mr. Patnaik said the State government would continue to work for the welfare of the farm community.

Among others who attended the meeting were Cooperation and Rural Development Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and several legislators and officials of the departments concerned.


  • Chief Minister launches Digital Mandi

  • He lists the welfare measures initiated by the government



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