Odisha govt transfers Rs 693.94 crore to 34 lakh farmers under Kalia scheme

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 1 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said his government has transferred Rs 693.94 crore to the bank accounts of 34 lakh farmers under the Kalia scheme.

The Kalia (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) is the state's flagship welfare scheme for farmers.

'Today is Utkala Divas. After paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi and Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash, my first work of the new financial year is to disburse funds for the welfare of farmers,' Patnaik said after interacting with some farmers on the auspicious Odisha Day.

He said Rs 693.94 crore has been disbursed to over 34 lakh farmers under the Kalia scheme for Rabi crop season. The Kalia scheme will also benefit 17 lakh landless poor as well, the chief minister said.

Patnaik said Kalia is the only scheme in the entire country which also helps landless poor along with farmers.

He said Odisha will continue to demand a hike in MSP to one-and-half-time of production cost of crop.

'My government's fight will continue to ensure implementation of the recommendation of the MS Swaminathan Committee,' Patnaik said, adding that the MSP price enhancement is not anyone's charity, but is a right of farmers.

'We are with the farmers always,' he said, adding that the state has schemes for provision of loan with zero per cent interest to farmers and new agriculture policies have encouraged our farmers.

While addressing the state level Utkala Divas the Chief Minister conveyed his best wishes to the people of the state in virtual mode.

Patnaik said the people of Odisha will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of a separate state of Odisha in 2036. 'So it should be our objective to build Odisha as a developed and model state in every sphere in India as well as abroad,' he said, calling upon all to march ahead with unity. PTI AAM RG RG