State Cabinet bid to cover small and marginal farmers without provision for loan waiver
Bhubaneswar: With a view to appeasing farmers, a potential vote bank, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Friday announced ‘Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation’ scheme Christened KALIA, ahead of 2019 general elections.
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat here, the Chief Minister said, “To further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and to reduce poverty, the state Cabinet today approved the historic KALIA scheme, amounting to over `10,000 crore.”
KALIA scheme aims to cover 92 per cent of the state’s cultivators, loanees, as well as non-loanee farmers, sharecroppers and landless agricultural labourers. It iims at specifically taking care of vulnerable agricultural families identified through GPs and crop loans are made available to the beneficiaries at 0 per cent interest, he said.
He further said, “KALIA is progressive, inclusive and will make a direct attack on poverty by way of massive investment in this sector and making benefits reach the needy through direct benefit transfer (DBT) mode.”
Stating that five components of the scheme will benefit all small and marginal farmers (over 30 lakh), he said `10,000 per family at the rate of `5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons shall be provided as assistance for taking up cultivation. This aid is for five cropping seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22, the Chief Minister said, adding, “This will cover 92 per cent of cultivators of the state. It will also benefit share croppers/ actual cultivators most of whom own very little extent of land.”
Under the second component, livelihood support for landless households, the government has decided to provide `12,500 to 10 lakh landless households to take up livelihood support activities like goat rearing units, mini layer units, duckery units, fishery kits, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping.
“The landless households will have the option of selecting any of the units. Among others, this will particularly benefit SC and ST households. An amount of Rs 1250 crore will be utilised in three years,” Naveen said further.
Similarly, an annual financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per household will be provided to take care of sustenance of those farmers who may not be able to take up cultivation or avail livelihood options due to old-age, disability, disease or other reasons. The landless farm labourers can also avail the benefits, the CM said.
Deserving families will be identified and selected by Gram Panchayats. The state has targeted coverage of 10 lakh households in two years at a cost of Rs 1,000 crore.
The Cabinet has also decided to provide life insurance coverage of Rs 2 lakh and additional personal accident coverage of Rs 2 lakh to cultivators and landless agricultural labourers benefitting 57 lakh households. The Chief Minister also announced interest free crop loans up to Rs 50,000.
“Under KALIA, an amount of Rs 10,180 crore will be spent over a period of three years till 2020-21. The scheme will be reviewed in 2020-21 for further modifications,” he stated.
“The KALIA is historic and it will further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and to reduce poverty,” Patnaik told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.