The opposition Congress and the BJP Thursday came down heavily on Odisha's BJD government and accused the state of misusing the State Disaster and Contingency Fund (SDCF).
In its bid to fund the Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme, the state government has withdrawn Rs 734.66 crore from the SDCF.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan of BJP came down heavily on the state government for announcing KALIA scheme without making budgetary provision for this.
"This is unfortunate to divert money from the SDCF," Pradhan said.
On the other hand, the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said that the state government should not withdraw money from SDCF for any purpose other than disaster or emergency.
"For the first time in the history of state administration the government has withdrawn money from SDCF for other purpose," the OPCC president said.
Alleging that the government violated all previous rules, Patnaik said, "This shows how the state government is utilising the system to regain power."
Stating that KALIA is one such scheme announced without funds allocation, the Congress leader alleged that the government has been trying to deposit Rs 5,000 in every farmer's account to garner vote.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been preparing to handover the financial assistance to beneficiaries of KALIA scheme at a meeting in Puri on January 25.
"A farmers meet will be held for distribution of assistance to KALI beneficiaries on January 25," the Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty said.
"More than 60 lakh farmers have so far applied for the KALIA scheme," he added.
Agriculture secretary Sourabh Garg said the money provided by the state government will be credited to the bank account of the beneficiaries.
In the first phase, about 12 to 14 lakh beneficiaries will be provided financial assistance and the final list of the beneficiaries will be announced on January 22, he added.
The scheme was launched on January 5 to help small and marginal farmers, agricultural households, vulnerable agricultural households, landless agriculture labourers and sharecroppers.
The Rs 10,180 crore KALIA scheme also have provision of insurance for cultivators and landless agriculture labourers.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)