Bhubaneswar: The state government has put on hold the move to take back the amount received by ineligible Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme beneficiaries keeping in view the difficulties faced by people during the pandemic.
An official letter has been issued by the Directorate of Agriculture and Food Processing to the Chief District Agriculture Officer in this regard.
The official communication said, “In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Kharif crop season it has been decided to keep the refund activities of KALIA assistance from the ineligible beneficiaries in abeyance, for the present. Therefore, you are requested to inform the field extension functionaries accordingly.”
The government earlier this year had issued instructions to recover the financial incentives received under the KALIA scheme from the ineligible farmers and many such alleged defaulters had also started receiving the letter of recovery from the government.
The decision of asking the farmers of Odisha to return the money did not go well with the people and Opposition parties alike. The Congress and the BJP had launched scathing attacks against the government for the move.
Just before the elections, the BJD government had announced the KALIA scheme and proposed incentives for farmers of the Odisha to lend support to their farming activities.