Bhubaneswar: Leader of opposition Pradipta Naik on Sunday urged farmers not to refund the money which they had received from Odisha government under Kalia Yojana.
The response of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader came after the state government asked the ineligible beneficiaries to refund assistance received under Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme.
“I urge farmers not to return money. The state govt has asked 3.41 lakh farmers to refund Rs 5000 assistance, but the money should be recovered from those who had prepared the list,” said Naik.
He said the state government should fix accountability on those who had prepared the list and selected the ineligible beneficiaries.
While the farmers were given the money ahead of 2019 elections eyeing to gain votes of farmers, the ruling BJD is now seeking a refund from farmers after winning the polls, he added.
Earlier, Agriculture Secretary Saurabh Garg informed that around 50,000 out of the total 51.05 lakh people who availed benefits under the KALIA Yojana are ineligible.
He said while some of the ineligible beneficiaries have already returned the money, the state government has asked others to voluntarily refund the financial assistance.
The government has given a dedicated account number to return the money.