By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 12, 2019: Odisha government will disburse financial assistance to farmers under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme till March 31, Odisha state Finance Minister S B Behere said on Monday.

“The state government will also take steps to include farmers who have been left out from the benefits of the Kalia scheme. The inclusion process will continue till March 31,” Behera said.

Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S Kumar on Sunday said that the ongoing Kalia scheme would continue but the state government could not add more beneficiaries under it.

However, Behera claimed the state government will include the farmers who have been left out from the Kalia scheme.

He said that about 1 per cent to 2 per cent farmers of the state have been left out under the Kalia scheme and they will be included.

The Odisha government under the Kalia scheme provide financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per family (Rs 5,000 each for the Kharif and Rabi season) to small and marginal farmers for taking up cultivation.

Replying a question on the Centre’s PM-KISAN scheme, Behera said, “Odisha government does not have clarity on why three to four lakh farmers have been excluded from the list that has been sent to the Centre for enrolment under the PM-KISAN Yojana.”

He said, “The Centre should consider the state’s proposal to include economically weaker and landless farmers under the scheme.”

“If all these issues are addressed, the state government will be able to cooperate with the Centre properly,” Behera said replying to BJP’s allegation that the state government did not cooperate in implementation of the PM-KISAN scheme.

The BJP’s state vice-president Samir Mohanty alleged that the state government was afraid of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity if PM-KISAN is implemented.

“The Kalia scheme is an arrangement to make online transfers to party men ahead of the polls and influence the voters. This is another way of cheating farmers,” Mohanty alleged.

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