Odisha’s farmer scheme KALIA as the best-conceived scheme for agriculture sector

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The visiting 15th Finance Commission chaired by N K Singh extolled Odisha’s latest farm package scheme titled KALIA as the best-conceived scheme for the distressed agriculture sector. The commission, though, had an advisory for the state government to focus on crop diversification and enhancing yield, especially of rice.

The panel felt KALIA or Krushak Assistance for Livelihoods & Income Augmentation bettered the typecast farm loan waiver announcements as it catered to all categories of the farm community.

“The KALIA scheme in many ways is the best-conceived scheme. It has won all round commendation. The focus now has to be on the scheme implementation. Both identification of the beneficiaries and implementation has to be done in a manner which matches the parameters of credibility and transparency”, Singh told reporters here.

The Commission lauded Odisha’s consistently high growth trajectory but the state has faced significant volatility which could be due to natural disasters. Odisha is the 16th state the Commission has visited.

The panel expressed dismay that the state despite being home to more than 72 per cent of the mineral resources has a rather modest contribution from the manufacturing sector.

On alleviating poverty and raising per capita income, the Commission acknowledged the strides made by the Odisha government, though with riders. “Poverty still continues to be significantly higher than the all India average. Per capita income of Odisha, too, has a lot of catching up to do”, said Singh. SRC – BS

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