Balaram scheme for farmers falls short, 6 per cent target achieved

Padhee warned that the achievement against the total target under the scheme will be critically reviewed as per the timeline and percentage set.

Published: 29th August 2022 08:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2022 08:59 AM   |  A+A-

farmers, farming, agriculture

Image used for representational purposes only (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Another flagship scheme launched by the State government to support landless farmers and sharecroppers to help them augment their income has failed to achieve its target. Sources said only six per cent of the target set under Bhoomihina Agriculturist Loan And Resources Augmentation Model (Balaram) scheme has been achieved in last two years. Under the specially designed scheme launched in July 2020, the State government had set a target to cover around seven lakh landless cultivators in three years by linking them to banks for short-term credit facilities.

As per the modalities of the scheme, Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) was assigned as the nodal agency at the district level to mobilise landless farmers through Krushak Sathis and village agriculture workers for the formation of joint liability groups (JLGs). The Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment department had set a target to ensure 1,93,883 JLGs to avail of short-term crop loans up to `1.6 lakh each in 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23.

Sources said six per cent of the target set under the scheme in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and one per cent in 2022-23 have so far been achieved. Of the target to disburse loans to one lakh JLGs in 2020-21 and 2021-22, only 6,117 JLGs have availed crop loans by March 31. Similarly, 1,007 out of the targeted 93,883 JLGs have been disbursed loans till August 10. In terms of achievement under Balaram, barring Kendrapara and Ganjam districts, the achievement of other districts remains unsatisfactory.

Expressing concern over districts falling short of the target and the slow pace of the implementation of the scheme, Principal Secretary of the department Arabinda Kumar Padhee has asked Collectors to pull up their socks and initiate steps to achieve the target by the end of the year. He directed Collectors to achieve 50 per cent of the target by the end of October and 100 per cent by the end of December.

They have been instructed to sort out issues, if any, with bankers during District Consultative Committee and Block Level Bankers’ Committee meetings, set targets for Krushak Sathis and women SHGs by involving BDOs and tehsildars.

Padhee warned that the achievement against the total target under the scheme will be critically reviewed as per the timeline and percentage set. Odisha has around 7,000 branches of different banks and primary agriculture cooperative societies in rural and semi-urban areas. As per modalities, each bank branch was to finance at least 10 JLGs in a year.


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