Other States

Centre, Odisha govt. transfer cash to farmers’ accounts

Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik addressing a meeting organized for disbursement of KALIA assistance to farmers through video conference .   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

In gloomy hours of the pandemic’s second wave, farmers in Odisha have something to smile for. Hours after the Central government transferred ₹2,000 each to farmers’ accounts under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, the Odisha government released ₹920 crore as part of its much vaunted Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme on Friday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the transfer of ₹920 crore to the accounts of 42 lakh small, marginal and landless farmers’ families.

“KALIA scheme is the best scheme for farmers in entire country. This plan has brought smile on faces of farmers. It has also helped lessen debt burden of farmers,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, congratulating farmers on eve of Akshaya Tritiya, an auspicious occasion that coincides with the beginning of the new farm season.

“Farmers are our pride. The sacrifice of farmers for society and country is beyond comparison. Last year, it was farmers who gave a fresh lease of life to the economy,” Mr. Patnaik said.

“To check the spread of infection in the second wave of COVID-19, lockdown has been enforced. But, the lockdown is not applicable for the agricultural sector. So farmers can continue agricultural work by taking COVID precautions,” he advised.

Similarly, the Central government deposited ₹556.64 crore in the accounts of 27.83 lakh Odisha farmers as part of the PM-Kisan scheme. As of now, the Centre has provided assistance to the tune of ₹3,830.85 crore in eight instalments under this flagship scheme.

Following the transfer of assistance to farmers’ accounts, both the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Jananta Party were found indulging in a public spat of political one-upmanship.

Taking to Twitter, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “Although 40,50,103 farmers in Odisha were registered under the PM Kisan scheme, only 24,70,671 farmers received Rs 494.13 crore in the seventh installment.”

“After I wrote a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last March, 27,83,209 farmers were included in the eighth installment — an increase by 3,12,538 farmers over beneficiaries in the seventh installment,” Mr. Pradhan tweeted.

“For sake of farmers’ welfare, I once again urge the State government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take steps so that all farmers registered under the PM Kisan Yojana can take full advantage of it,” he said.

Reacting to Mr. Pradhan’s tweet, senior BJD leader Pranab Prakash Das said, “Landless farmers and sharecroppers have been included in Odisha’s KALIA scheme. Please include landless farmers in PM-Kisan as being done in KALIA scheme so that everyone will get benefits.”

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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 6:00:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/centre-odisha-govt-transfer-cash-to-farmers-accounts/article34559586.ece

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