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After Initial Reluctance, Odisha Says it Will be Part of PM-Kisan Yojna

Earlier, after receiving a formal communication from the Centre about the mega farmers welfare scheme, the Odisha government had not shown any interest and dubbed the programme inferior to its own KALIA scheme.

PTI

Updated:February 21, 2019, 7:41 PM IST
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After Initial Reluctance, Odisha Says it Will be Part of PM-Kisan Yojna
File photo of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. Image for representation. (PTI)
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Bhubaneswar: Shedding its initial hesitation, the Odisha government Thursday decided to be part of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme and extend all support for its implementation in the state, a top official said.

The announcement was made by Chief Secretary AP Padhi after reviewing the state's Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, also meant for providing financial assistance to farmers.

Padhi said the central scheme (PM-Kisan), which promises to provide Rs 6,000 per annum to small and marginal farmers having cultivable land up to two hectares (about five acres), will be launched in Odisha on February 24 along with other states.

Earlier, after receiving a formal communication from the Centre about the mega farmers welfare scheme, the Odisha government had not shown any interest and dubbed the programme inferior to its own KALIA scheme.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had early this month written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, claiming that Odisha's KALIA scheme was more progressive and inclusive.

In his letter to the PM on February 11, Patnaik had sought enhancement of cash incentive under the scheme to Rs 10,000. He had also demanded inclusion of landless farmers, share croppers and farmers in distress under the programme.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that the state was not implementing the Centre's scheme for farmers over fears that all credit would go to the prime minister.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday had attacked Patnaik for depriving the farming community from taking advantage of the central scheme.

The BJD government's no to the Ayushman Bharat health programme and later, the PM-Kisan yojna was seen as Patnaik's attempt to not cede popular ground to the BJP when the state and the national elections were round the corner.

Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment secretary Saurabh Garg said a list of around 12.45 lakh first-phase beneficiaries of the state government's own KALIA scheme will be given to the Centre for inclusion in the PM-Kisan yojna.

According to PM-Kisan, the first tranche of Rs 2,000 will be directly transferred to the beneficiaries' bank accounts on February 24. The Centre will fund this initiative completely.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, while addressing a farmers' convention at Bargarh in western Odisha Thursday, reiterated his demand to raise the amount of assistance under PM-Kisan to Rs 10,000 per annum from the current Rs 6,000.

He also made a strong case that the PM-Kisan should include landless farmers, share croppers and farmers in distress.

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