BJD has turned ‘food security’ into ‘vote security’: Niranjan

Bhubaneswar: The one Rupee a Kilo Rice for poor and Odisha government’s own Food Security Scheme has become a mockery, alleged Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik.

All these schemes primarily meant for BPL families and families in distress. But no proper procedure is being followed while identifying the beneficiaries, he said.

Giving one example PCC Chief said the farmer who sells 100 bags of paddy in kharif season gets the same benefits under food security as the small and marginal farmer who sells one bag of rice. Recently launched KALIA scheme is also equally applicable to all. Does it really serve the purpose, asked Niranjan adding that  the state government must implement different schemes for medium, small and marginal farmers, labourers and landless poor; so that each scheme targets and fulfills the needs of said group.

Niranjan said, as per state government data as many as 77 percent of the total population of Odisha has been covered under Rs.1 a kg rice scheme of the state government. If this is true, then 77 percent of our population is living Below Poverty Line (BPL) as per 2011 census. But another government data says, as per 2011 census the number of BPL families in Odisha declined to around 33 percent. There is a gross mismatch in these two figures, which must be clarified by state government. This is meant only to lure voters, alleged Patnaik.

He said the procedure of implementation of the scheme is dubious. Because of the callous attitude of the state government many ghost beneficiaries are availing the major benefits, whereas the needy are left out. Last month Food commissioner of the state cited his grave concerns saying that 2 lakh ghost beneficiaries in Odisha are receiving food grains under Public Distribution Systems (PDS). These people are already dead, but there is no one to check this and food grains are supplied every month in their name. But there are families who live in utter poverty and still are not included in Food Security Scheme. This is a cruel joke on the people who actually need welfare schemes. The Food Security Scheme launched by BJD government is meant for ‘vote security’, alleged Niranjan.

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