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Have System For Fund Refund From If Any Ineligible ‘KALIA’ Beneficiary: Odisha Agriculture Secretary

31 January 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: Following media reports that influential persons and ineligible beneficiaries have allegedly reaped the fund transfer benefit under the ongoing ‘KALIA’ scheme, Odisha Government today clarified that it has also a system for fund refund in case of any error.

In his reactions, Odisha Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment Secretary Saurabh Garg said, “We had published a draft list of ‘KALIA’ on January 1. The list had 22 lakh farmers. It was prepared as per the DBT list we already had. When that list was displayed at every Panchayat and on website, we had asked for exclusion through Red Form. Those who are government employees or owners of above 5 acres of farm land, income tax payee or death cases were excluded. We have also received lots of Red Forms for exclusion. Hence, 1.5 lakhs persons voluntarily excluded themselves from the beneficiary list. The list of 22 lakhs had names of various persons and might have the influential persons.”

“But the fund transfer we have done for the list of 12.45 lakh beneficiaries, that list has been thoroughly test-checked. We have done a validation across a number of data bases. We have with us complete information of the people figured in this list of 12.45 lakhs. We don’t think this list includes the names of any influential persons as beneficiaries. If by chance any error detected, we have also a system for rectification,” he stated.

The Agriculture Secretary averred, “So far the focus of the scheme as well as the steps we have taken till date, we have done it in a transparent manner. It is done by a self-declaration and self selection. The same process will be maintained.”

He further clarified, “Also there was report that a beneficiary has received only Re 1 instead of Rs 5,000. That was done for test check of our DBT system in collaboration with the bank. In fact, out of the 22 lakh list, about 7 lakh farmers were remitted Re 1 to check that if it bounce-backed. As we rectified our system by remitting that Re 1, that is why out of the 12.45 lakh farmers, money couldn’t be deposited to the bank accounts of 20,000 farmers immediately on January 25. Now we are working it out with the State Bank and those 20,000 left out lots are also getting it.”

“Various rumours are doing rounds, but you (media) and the public can post it on our website. Even query can be made from our department or Cooperation department. Our focus is transparency and it will be maintained. No eligible applicant will be excluded for which the 1.5 lakh Red Forms we have received are being cross-checked,” he remarked.

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Dr Saurabh Garg, Secretary, Agriculture, Odisha