Rs 1 KALIA shock for Jagatsinghpur farmers

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Express News Service

JAGATSINGHPUR: Dhirendra Nath Pati, a poverty-stricken farmer of Jasobantpur in Jagatsinghpur block, got a rude shock after he received Rs 1 in his bank account instead of the promised Rs 5,000 under the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme.

“This is sheer harassment. I was taken aback after receiving only Rs 1 as assistance for farming. Though I approached the Cooperative and Agriculture officials and brought the matter to their notice, they failed to give any correct information in this regard,” Pati said.

Similar tales have been narrated by numerous other farmers in the district who have received Rs 1 in their accounts instead of Rs 5,000. On Tuesday, farmers of Naugaon block had staged demonstration and gheraoed the local cooperative society and agriculture offices alleging irregularities in implementation of KALIA scheme.

Another farmer of Raghunathpur said as per the clarification given by Agriculture officials, Rs 1 has been deposited in the accounts of farmers on a trial basis before sending the entire assistance of Rs 5,000.
“I received Rs 1 in my account. Though five days have passed, there is no sign of Rs 5,000,” he said. However, thousands of farmers in the district did not face any such situation and have already received Rs 5,000 by January 25, he said.

Further exposing the loopholes of KALIA, ineligible farmers have been selected to get benefits under the scheme even though they had applied for exclusion in the Red forms. Hundreds of farmers had applied in the Red forms to delete their names from the beneficiary list.

But their names have figured in the first phase final list displayed at the local panchayat and cooperative office.

Sarpanch of Jamugaon panachayat Lalatendu Parida admitted to errors in selection of farmers under KALIA scheme. Names of 536 farmers were on the draft beneficiary list which was displayed at the panchayat office. As many as 52 farmers applied in the Red form for exclusion of their names from the list. However, not a single name has  been deleted, he added.

Deputy Director of Agriculture Ram Chandra Naik said, “We have received allegations regarding deposit of `1 in the accounts of many farmers. The department has advised farmers, who are yet to receive the first phase instalment of `5,000, to apply for a second time within February 5,” he added.


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