Bhubaneswar: Following Andhra Pradesh, the state government is said to be planning to merge its ambitious Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme with the Centre’s PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN), sources said here Monday.
According to sources, the state government is discussing with the Union agriculture ministry to work out details of the proposed move. “We are preparing a detailed plan to merge our Kalia scheme with PM-KISAN scheme. The decision will be implemented from next year,” a senior official of the agriculture department told Orissa POST.
In February this year, AP government has merged its own Annadatha Sukhibhava scheme with PM-KISAN. Like the state’s Kalia scheme, the AP government was providing direct benefit transfer of Rs 10,000 to its farmers.
As per the state government’s plan, all eligible farmers covered under Kalia will get Rs 10,000 per year in two or three tranches. Once the two direct financial support schemes for farmers get merged, all those eligible under PM KISAN will get Rs 6,000 per household from the Centre and receive Rs 4,000 from the state. The state government will bear all additional cost for providing assistance to the left out beneficiaries of Kalia scheme.
However, the state government will provide second installments under Kalia scheme from its own pocket.
Participating in a budget discussion in Parliament in June this year, BJD MPs Bhatruhari Mahtab and Prasanna Acharya had suggested the Centre for a merger of the two schemes. Responding to Mahtab’s speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said she would have to see how it works out.
In a reply to Rajya Sabha a few days ago, Union agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said the PM-KISAN scheme allows eligible beneficiaries to receive additional benefits under similar income support scheme wholly financed by respective state governments.
While under PM-KISAN, the Centre pays Rs 6,000 per year in installments of Rs 2,000 each, under the state government’s Kalia, farmers get Rs 5,000 per crop. Kalia also covers landless farm labourers who have been left out of the PM-KISAN scheme.