Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday disbursed Rs 900 crore for the state's 44.56 lakh farmers, under an income assistance scheme on the occasion of Nuakhai, an agrarian festival celebrated mostly in the western region of Odisha.
According to an official, an amount of Rs 2,000 each was directly transferred to the bank accounts of 43.88 lakh small and marginal farmers and other 68,750 landless farmers in Odisha under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme for Rabi crop.
The state government launched the KALIA scheme in 2018, under which farmers are given Rs 4,000 in two equal instalments. So far, the state government has disbursed Rs 12,500 crore to farmers under the scheme.
Today, on the occasion of Nuakhai, the farmers are paid Rs 2,000 as KALIA assistance for Rabi crop. Nuakhai is the festival of Mother Earth. Mother Earth blesses us with resources that are made available to us through the hard work of our farming community. They are our pride, Patnaik said.
The chief minister said the KALIA assistance has helped farmers get rid of the debt burden. They can utilise the money in purchase of seeds, fertiliser and other agricultural requirements and need not lend money from others.
He said the children of farmers also get KALIA scholarships and they could become doctors and engineers. I wish the farmers of Odisha live with dignity and pride, Patnaik said.
The opposition BJP, however, criticised the state government for not providing assistance to all the 75 lakh farmers as announced by Patnaik in 2018.
The CM had announced that 75 lakh farmers will get Rs 10,000 per annum as KALIA assistance. Now, the number has come down to 44.56 lakh farmers. Where did the remaining 31 lakh farmers go? senior BJP leader Pradeep Purohit said.
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