BHUBANESWAR: Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera on Friday said in the Assembly the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme will provide financial assistance to more than 50 lakh farmer families.Replying to discussion on Odisha Appropriation (Vote On Account) Bill, 2019, the Minister said an assistance of `25,000 per family of small and marginal farmer will be given over five agricultural seasons under the first component of the scheme, which has already been rolled out. The scheme also covers sharecroppers and agricultural landless labourers, covering almost 92 pc of the families dependent on agriculture, he said.
Stating that many economists of international and national repute have praised KALIA, Behera dismissed doubts raised by Opposition members about implementation of the scheme.Earlier, initiating the debate on the Bill, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra criticised the Government’s much-hyped scheme KALIA. “How can you identify sharecroppers when there is no such legislation in the State? Odisha Land Reforms Act has not been amended and therefore, the Government will not be able to identify sharecroppers,” he said.
Mishra also said the Government would not be able to correctly identify the small and marginal farmers according to The Hindu Succession Act. Criticising the State Government for not announcing bonus on paddy, Mishra said while the farmers of neighbouring Chhattisgarh are getting MSP of `2,500 per quintal of paddy, Odisha farmers get only `1,750.
He cautioned both the BJP and BJD of losing the upcoming elections for making false promises to the people. “This time you (BJP and BJD) will not succeed as the political wind has started blowing in a changed direction,” he said.
Mishra criticised both, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, of making false promises before elections and fooling the people. “You (Modi and Patnaik) cannot fool all people all the time,” he said, adding that people have this time decided to punish those who gave false assurances. “While there is no teacher in schools, no doctor in hospitals and no drinking water in villages, the farmers are denied of water for agriculture. The promises made by the ruling BJD in its manifesto have not been kept. Therefore, the people will this time change their mood,” Mishra said.