This refers to "Good on paper" (January 24). Direct credit of income support to farmers abolishing the present system of indirect subsidies may result in misutilisation of the assistance by the farmers since they are always in need of money. Again, if subsidies on fertiliser, electricity etc is abolished, there will be a hue and cry by farmers and political parties. It will be difficult to implement but if the economy can sustain it, direct credit can be given since farmers get less subsidy than other sectors in comparison to their contribution to the economy.
As far as Odisha's KALIA scheme is concerned, there is misinformation in the national media that share-croppers are also paid assistance at the rate of Rs 5 ,000 per season for five crop seasons; but this is not the fact. Share-croppers are not included since the Odisha Land Reforms Act does not allow anybody to lease out his/her land for share cropping. However, 35-40 per cent of the farmers are share-croppers. The government of Odisha has not undertaken any survey of share croppers. Despite repeated advice from the NITI Aayog, the state government is not enacting the Land Leasing Act on the model developed by the Aayog. Share-croppers are deprived of bank loan, crop insurance, input subsidy, selling food grains at minimum support price. They are excluded from KALIA scheme also. The hurriedly launched KALIA scheme can hardly increase the productivity and income of farmers; but, of course, it can give the party in power a huge benefit in the coming elections.
Natabar Khuntia Bhubaneswar
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