**Bhubaneswar: ** When the issues concerning farmers have taken a centre stage in an election year, BJP-led NDA Government in its Interim Budget presented yesterday has announced a special scheme named “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi” which is deemed to be a replica of Odisha Government’s “KALIA”.
Now the question arises how is Odisha Government’s “KALIA” better than the “Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi”.
Odisha Minister and Biju Krushak Janata Dal (BKJD) Secretary General Pratap Jena in his reactions said, “The people of Odisha should know that the Central scheme will provide only Rs 6,000 to each beneficiary farmer in three installments. But under KALIA scheme, the farmers will get Rs 10,000 (Rs 5000 plus Rs 5000) in two installments.”
He added, “Also provision of Rs 12,500 financial assistance is there in KALIA scheme for those who are sharecroppers. Even the land labourers are also entitled to Rs 10,000 financial assistance. But, the Central scheme has no such provisions, not even a rupee, for the sharecroppers and the land labourers.”
He further informed, “Apart from this, the KALIA scheme has the provision for interest-free loan up to Rs 50,000. On the contrary, the Central scheme announced for the farmers has loan at 2% interest.”
Jena also stated, “We have the provision of Rs 2 lakh life insurance benefit for each farmer while the Central scheme also lacks this provision.”
Senior journalist and analyst Sandeep Sahu remarked, “It all appears that the Centre has framed the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Nidhi Yojana being inspired by the KALIA scheme. But the scope of KALIA scheme is significantly more.”
He explained, “Only the land owning farmers will be benefitted from the Central scheme. It is well known that most of the land owners are not active farmers. They have given away their land to the sharecroppers. Hence, the real farmers cannot reap the benefit from the Central scheme.”
“In this context, Odisha’s scheme is certainly good because the sharecroppers and farm labourers have also been included in it. So far the financial assistance is concerned, the Centre will be giving only Rs 6,000 per year while the Odisha Government is giving Rs 10,000. In that respect, this (KALIA) is a laudable scheme,” the senior scribe stated.
He also commented, “In comparison to both the Telangana Government’s Rythu Bandhu scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, Odisha scheme is better.”
Elucidating on the KALIA scheme and also drawing a comparison, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “KALIA scheme is far far better than the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana. It is because of KALIA’s several aspects. All the provisions of KALIA scheme are meant for the overall development of the farmers that are lacking in the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Yojana of the Centre.”
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