Naveen transfers funds under KALIA scheme
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik rolled out the transfer of funds to beneficiary farmers under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme at a rally in Puri on Friday.Stating that the KALIA scheme was being appreciated across the country, Mr. Patnaik said it will be a milestone in Odisha’s economic growth. The scheme covers more than 50 lakh farmer families including share croppers and landless families, he said.The scheme will help farmers improve agricultural activities and development of their families, said Mr. Patnaik, adding that he rolled out KALIA from Puri with the blessings of Lord Jagannath and no one can stop its journey. The scheme will show a new path to the entire nation, he added.More than one lakh farmers attended the rally. The government credited ₹5,000 each to the bank accounts of 12.45 lakh farmers across the State in the first phase during the day.The farmers will get their entitlement of ₹5,000 under KALIA for purchase of seeds, fertilizers and insecticides twice a year — once on Akshaya Tritiya for kharif season and on Nuakhai day for rabi season.The KALIA scheme, launched on December 31, has become popular because Lord Jagannath is called Kalia by the devotees, said Mr. Patnaik.While expressing gratitude to the farmers, the Chief Minister said, “You raise crops and provide food to the State. Your production is offered (to the Lord) as Mahaprasad. You’re doing a great job, a pious job. So, I named this scheme KALIA.” He added that farmers will get the cash assistance in six crop seasons over a period of three years. An amount of ₹10,180 crore will be spent under KALIA. Besides, crop loans up to ₹50,000 will henceforth be interest-free under the scheme. Also 10 lakh landless households will be supported with a unit cost of ₹12,500 to take up activities like small goat-rearing units, mini layer units, duck units, fishery kits for fishermen and women, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping.An annual financial assistance of ₹10,000 will be provided to vulnerable agriculture households and landless labourers. About 10 lakh such households will be covered over two years.