After KALIA Yojana, Odisha brings Balaram Yojana


Bhubaneswar: After KALIA Yojana, the Odisha government has launched Balaram Yojana to provide agricultural credit of Rs 1,040 crore to landless farmers who are facing hardships due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Around seven lakh landless cultivators will get benefit under the scheme in the next two years.

Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy has directed officials to provide agricultural loans to the landless farmers through joint liability groups (JLGs).

IMAGE will coordinate to implement the scheme at the state level. The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) will coordinate at the district level.

Agriculture secretary Sourabh Garg said the landless farmers will get loans through JLGs which will act as ‘social collateral’.

The scheme was designed in collaboration with the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

He said that the village agriculture workers will implement the programme at the field level.

Finance secretary A K Meena asked officials to mobilise the banking sector through the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) for extending credit support to the landless farmers and sharecroppers.

There are around 7000 branches of different banks and PACS in rural and semi-urban areas.

70,000 groups will get farm loans

Around 70,000 groups will get farm loans under the scheme this year.

Each group will comprise of five landless farmers.

Official sources said each group will comprise of five landless farmers will get maximum Rs 1.60 lakh loan.

The state government has targeted to provide farm loans to seven lakh landless farmers in the next two years.

Chief General Manager NABARD A. Chandra Sekhar said, “This scheme is first of its kind in the country. Through this scheme, the real field-level agricultural activities will have credit inflow of around Rs.1040 cr”.

Meanwhile, the opposition BJP and Congress have targeted the state government for failing to fulfil the promise made in KALIA Yojana.

They said Balaram Yojana is eyewash of the state government to hoodwink the farmers in the state.