The Odisha government has decided to merge its flagship scheme to provide assistance to farmers with the Centre's Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-Kisan) yojana, apparently due to financial constraints, a state minister said. Though agriculture and farmer empowerment minister Arun Kumar Sahoo did not reveal the details about the merger of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (Kalia) scheme with the Centre's programme, the state government has taken a decision to change the guidelines for providing aid to farmers.
  1. According to the provisions of the 'Kalia' scheme, farmers, mostly small and marginal cultivators, are entitled to get Rs 10,000 in two instalments for two crops in a year. The landless agricultural farmers are also eligible to get Rs 12,000 per annum for three years.
  2. The state government has already paid the first instalment (of Rs 5,000) under Kalia scheme and process is on to disburse the second one.
  3. Under PM-Kisan scheme, the central government is providing annually Rs 6,000 in three equal instalments to about 14 crore farmers.
  4. According to the new guidelines, the farmers will get Rs 10,000 per annum as provided under the 'Kalia' scheme, adding that the cultivators would not be able to avail the central's assistance of Rs 6,000 annually after the merger.
  5. Poor farmers of the state can expect to get Rs 16,000 (Rs 10,000 from 'Kalia' and Rs 6,000 from PM-Kisan) a year, but, according to the new guidelines, they will get just Rs 10,000.
  6. Of the annual financial assistance of Rs 10,000, the state government will give Rs 4,000 to farmers while the rest will be provided from the Centre's scheme.
  7. Landless farmers will, however, continue to get Rs 12,000 per year under the 'Kalia' scheme.
  8. The state government has announced 'Kalia' scheme ahead of the 2019 elections, targeting farmers' votes and it was launched without the financial provision.