Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 2:
The names of at least 50 lakh ineligible claimants have been struck off the list of beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in Odisha, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department revealed here today.
“By the end of August, we have deleted as many as 50 lakh people, who had illegally registered to avail benefits under the NFSA. A total of 70 lakh ineligible beneficiaries are to be struck off the list. Another 20 lakh names of ineligible beneficiaries will be struck from the list soon,” said M S Padhi, secretary Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare department.
The NFSA scheduled to be implemented by September end has been facing roadblocks due to excess registration of beneficiaries.
As the process of identification of beneficiaries under NFSA has now reached the final stage, Padhi said the state government has approached the Centre to extend the deadline for implementation of the NFSA in Odisha by one month.
Many people who did not meet the eligibility criteria had registered their names for availing benefits under the NFSA in the state while the Centre has allowed the state to provide benefits of the NFSA to 3.26 crore people of the state’s total population of 4.21 crore.
“I am in touch with the collectors of all the 30 districts to ensure that no ineligible person is included in the list of NFSA beneficiaries,” said Padhi.
“The Centre has agreed to extend the deadline,” he added.
The state government has suspended about 60 employees, including 17 in Ganjam district alone, on charges of violation of NFSA norms. About 2.5 lakh employees have so far opted out of the NFSA list, official sources revealed.