Bhubaneswar: Amidst clamor for loan waiver, the Odisha government Friday announced a Rs 10,000 crore fiscal relief scheme for farmers.

Instead of going for loan waiver, the state government came out with an innovative financial assistance which is likely to be a role model in the country.

Announcing the ‘Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation’ (Kalia) scheme for coming three years, the chief minister Naveen Patnaik said that all the small and marginal farmers and the landless farmers will be covered under the scheme. An amount of Rs 10,180 crore will be spent over a period of three years till 2020-21. The scheme will be reviewed in 2020-21 for further modifications, he assured.

Under the Kalia scheme, each farmer family will get financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per annum to meet their farming expenses in Kharif and Rabi seasons. This assistance is for five cropping seasons spanning three years from 2018-19 to 2021-22.

Furthermore, as many as 10 lakh landless households will be supported with a unit cost of Rs 12,500 to take up activities like small goat rearing, duckery units, fishery kits, mushroom cultivation and bee keeping.

This apart, an annual financial assistance of Rs 10,000 per household will be provided to take care of sustenance of those farmers who may not be able to take up cultivation or avail livelihood options due to old-age, disability, disease or other reasons.

Importantly, life insurance cover of Rs 2 lakh and additional personal accident cover of Rs 2 lakh will be provided to both cultivators and landless agricultural labourers covering about 57 lakh households.

The government has also announced henceforth the farmers will be provided interest free crop loans up to Rs 50,000.