Bhubaneswar: Welcoming the newly-announced PM Kisan, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to include share croppers, landless labourers and vulnerable agricultural households under the scheme.
During the interim budget for the year 2019-20, the Centre had announced the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) scheme for augmenting the income of farmers by providing Rs6000 to each farmer household to be fully funded by the Centre.
Comparing PM Kisan with the state’s Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, Naveen, in his letter to Modi, said, “I would like to bring to your kind notice that Odisha, in December-2018, approved the package for farmers’ welfare—KALIA to further accelerate agricultural prosperity and reduce poverty in the state.”
He claimed the scheme is progressive and inclusive and it covers 92 per cent of the cultivators, share croppers (actual cultivators) and landless agriculture labourers in the state.
It recognizes that livestock and fishery-based activities are key drivers of economic growth in rural areas particularly for landless households as the income from wages alone is insufficient, Naveen pointed out.
“It also provides for financial assistance to vulnerable agricultural households who may not be able to take up cultivation or livelihood activities due to various reasons,” the Chief Minister said.
Stating that the state rolled out the scheme in January last and the scheme has created huge interest and response amongst the farming community, he said, “It shall be our endeavour to ensure that all eligible beneficiaries are assisted under the scheme so that no one who is eligible is left out.”
In order to make the PM-Kisan scheme more inclusive, Naveen requested the PM to consider the inclusion of landless labourers, share croppers and vulnerable agricultural households under the scheme.
Under KALIA, the state government announced to provide Rs 25,000 to each small and marginal farmer in five installments over three years while the Centre has announced to provide Rs 6,000 per year in three tranches under the PM-Kisan.
State has announced to cover landless labourers, share croppers and vulnerable agricultural households under its scheme while the Centre’s scheme will cover only small and marginal farmers, who are having their own cultivable land.
Meanwhile, after successful transfer of financial assistance to about 12.45 lakh small and marginal farmers in first phase under KALIA, the government has initiated the process for distribution of benefits to 5 lakh landless agricultural households for their livelihood support, February 15 at a mega event in Kendrapara.
Similarly, the second phase distribution of assistance to small and marginal farmers will take place at Sohela in Bargarh district February 22.
As per Census 2011, there are 24.20 lakh agricultural labourers in the state who are dependent on agriculture as their main occupation while there are 43.19 lakh agricultural labourers who are not dependant on agriculture as their main plank of subsistence.