Oppn targets govt over mismatch in Kalia beneficiaries | Bhubaneswar News timesofindia.indiatimes.com


Bhubaneswar: The opposition on Wednesday slammed the state government over the mismatch in the number of beneficiaries under Kalia scheme in the statements of two different ministers. While agriculture minister Arun Sahoo on several occasions said over 51 lakh beneficiaries have been covered under the scheme, finance minister Niranjan Pujari in his budget speech on Tuesday, said 43 lakh farmers have benefitted from Kalia. Pujari said Rs 5,115 crore has been transferred directly to the bank accounts of farmers.
Leader of opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said BJD used the Kalia scheme to sail through the 2019 elections. Naik said many ineligible people, including government employees, have received assistance under Kalia. Agriculture minister Arun Sahoo did not respond to allegations of mismatch in the number of beneficiaries in two different statements. In a written reply to the assembly on Wednesday, Sahoo said as many as 45,965 ineligible beneficiaries have availed assistance under the Kalia scheme.
Steps are being taken to ensure that ineligible farmers return the money they availed under Kalia scheme, he said, adding that 1,863 farmers have so far returned the cash they received in their bank accounts, Sahoo said.
The state government has earmarked Rs 3,195 crore under Kalia scheme for 2020-21. It has also reduced the annual assistance from Rs 10,000 to Rs 4,000 crore under Kalia.

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