Cuttack: A day before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launches KALIA scheme for farmers in Puri on Friday, the Orissa High Court on Thursday put the Odisha Government on notice over a petition challenging the State Government’s decision to spend money from the State Disaster and Contingency Fund (SFCF) for implementation of the scheme.
Notably, the State Government has withdrawn Rs 734.66 crore from the SDCF for KALIA when it is reeling under Rs 91,943 crore debt burden.
Acting upon a petition filed by social activist and human rights defender Subash Mohapatra, the court directed the Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department Director to file their replies within four weeks.
The petitioner challenged the Government’s decision submitting that no emergency situation arises in the State that forces the State Government to drain out money from the Contingency Fund for implementation of the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA).
Earlier, opposition BJP and Congress also targeted the State Government for announcing KALIA scheme without making budgetary provision for this.
In the first phase, about 12 to 14 lakh beneficiaries will be provided with Rs 5,000 financial assistance each on January 26.
The scheme targets to cover 92 per cent of small and marginal cultivators and landless farmers to provide them financial, livelihood and cultivation support. Financial assistance of Rs 25,000 for agricultural and livelihood activities apart, KALIA also assures interest-free crop loan up to Rs 50,000 and life insurance support to the farmers.
Under the scheme, financial assistance of Rs 10,000 (Rs 5,000 each kharif and rabi seasons) will be given to the family of every small and marginal farmer in the State.
KALIA initiative targets to cover 92 per cent of small and marginal cultivators and landless farmers. Financial assistance of Rs 25,000 for agricultural and livelihood activities apart, KALIA also assures interest-free crop loan up to Rs 50,000 and life insurance support to the farmers.