Opposition Spreading Rumours Against ‘KALIA’ Scheme Is Unfortunate: Sashi Behera

**Bhubaneswar:** Opposition parties spreading false rumours against the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme out of fear and sheer intolerance is unfortunate, said Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today.

Briefing mediapersons, Behera said few political parties have made agricultural loan waiver as their weapon. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has introduced the KALIA scheme under which small, marginal and landless farmers will receive financial assistance in place of loans. It will wipe out the regular demands of loan waiver.

The Minister said it in reaction to the statements of OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who lambasted the State Government today over KALIA scheme’s provisions and Cabinet nod to the proposal for enhancement of corpus of Odisha Contingency Fund through an Ordinance for implementation of the scheme.

The OPCC chief alleged KALIA scheme is a hype of the BJD to influence farmers and the livelihood provision in the scheme is already existing and running in support of NABARD. He questioned under what grounds KALIA scheme can be comparable with the package announced by Congress which includes agricultural loan waiver, providing solar pumps to farmers and financial assistance for five years so they will never go for loan in future.

The Union Minister also alleged the KALIA scheme is an attempt of the BJD-ruled State Government to win votes. He questioned why the State Government had not earmarked the amount for KALIA scheme in supplementary budget.