Bhubaneswar: The opposition parties and a farmers’ outfit Saturday rejected the state government’s KALIA scheme, and dubbed it as ‘old dress in a new package’.
Navnirman Krushak Sangathan (NNKS) reacted a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced the Rs 10,000 crore Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme.
After launching the scheme Friday, Patnaik had said, “An amount of Rs 10,000 per family at the rate of Rs 5,000 each for kharif and rabi seasons shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation.”
“Naveen Patnaik’s KALIA scheme is like old dress in new packing. Now the state government’s intentions are clear that it avoids basic issues such as price, pension and farm loan waiver,” NNKS convenor Akshya Kumar told reporters here.
Stating that there has been an attempt to confuse the farming community, Kumar said even the agriculture minister himself cannot understand the contents of the KALIA scheme.
“The livelihood provision in KALIA scheme is already existing and running in support of Nabard and MGNREGS. It is not a new scheme. It is an attempt to divert farmers’ attention,” Kumar said.
Kumar said the farmers, for the last several years, have been demanding proper price for their agriculture produce. The state’s KALIA scheme does not deal with that, he added.
Stating that the CM did not announce any bonus and the MSP of paddy remained unchanged, the NNKS leader said that the elderly farmers should get pension.
The opposition Congress and the BJP also rejected the KALIA scheme and said there was an attempt to appease farmers without directly dealing with their real problems.
“What for farmers came to his (Chief Minister) mind after 18 years of rule? Naveen is afraid of farmers’ anger and therefore trying to woo them,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik said.
“It (KALIA) is an election gimmick. There is no relief for farmers,” BJP leader Prithiwiraj Harichandan said.
According to provisions of KALIA scheme, small and marginal farmers will get financial support of Rs 10,000 per year at the rate of Rs 5,000 each for kharif and rabi seasons.
Over 30 lakh farmers will be benefited for purchasing pesticides and seeds through this scheme.
KALIA will also provide livelihood support of Rs 12,500 each per year to landless households.
Landless farmers can also avail any one of the several livelihood options such as small goat rearing unit, dual purpose low input technology bird unit, duckery unit, fishery kit, mushroom cultivation or bee keeping.
“Nearly 92 per cent farmers in the state will benefit from the scheme. It is a historic decision taken by CM Naveen Patnaik,” Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said.