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Now, Odisha and Jharkhand governments announce sops for farmers

By PTI
|

Bhubaneswar, Dec 21: The Odisha and the Jharkhand governments on Friday joined the list of states dolling out sops for farmers after the Congress scripted wins in three states riding on the promise of farm loan waiver.

While the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced the Rs 10,000-crore scheme for the overall development of farmers in the state.

Naveen Patnaik

The state cabinet has approved the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, worth over Rs 10,000 crore, for the development of farmers in the state, the chief minister said. "The KALIA is historic and it will further accelerate agricultural prosperity in the state and reduce poverty," Patnaik told reporters after the Cabinet meeting chaired by him approved the scheme.

After MP and Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan waives off farm loans upto Rs 2 lakh

Though the scheme did not have provision of farm loan waiver, the chief minister said: "all the small and marginal farmers of the state (over 30 lakh) will be covered under the scheme. Patnaik said that "an amount of Rs 10,000 per family at the rate of Rs 5,000 each for Kharif and Rabi seasons shall be provided as financial assistance for taking up cultivation."

The chief minister termed the opposition Congress's poll promise of farm loan waiver in Odisha as "ridiculous", Patnaik said farm loan waiver may help a section of the farmers, but this scheme will cover 92 per cent of cultivators of the state. "There are about 32 lakh cultivators in the state. Out of this about 20 lakh have availed crop loan. The remaining 12 lakh have not availed crop loans.

"Further the entire gamut of share croppers and landless labourers will not be covered under a loan waiver scheme," Patnaik said.

The chief minister said "This component is not linked to the extent of land owned. It will greatly benefit share croppers and actual cultivators most of whom own very small extent of land. This assistance is for five crop seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22, so as to ensure comprehensive coverage."

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das Friday announced a Rs 2,250-crore scheme to help 22.76 lakh medium and marginal farmers of the state double their income by 2022.

The state government will give Rs 5,000 per acre to 22.76 lakh medium and marginal farmers from the next financial year, Das said at a press conference here. "Under the new Mukhya Mantri Krishi Yojana, Rs 2,250 crore will be spent.

The scheme will start from the 2019-20 financial year," he said. "Those farmers having less than one acre will also get Rs 5,000 and the upper limit is five acres," the chief minister said, adding that the beneficiaries will be given the money by way of cheque or through direct benefit transfer.

The new initiative has been taken to help farmers procure seeds, fertilisers and other requirements for agriculture purposes without depending on anybody, Das said, adding that beneficiaries can avail the money as per their choice of crop every year from the next fiscal.

The chief minister said the state government was already spending Rs 66 crore per annum for 14.85 lakh farmers under the Fasal Bima Yojana, besides providing farm loans at zero per cent interest.

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