Don’t stop subsidized foodgrains for APL families, Odisha urges Centre

Bhubaneswar, Dec 21:

Odisha has urged the Centre not to stop supplying subsidized foodgrain to above poverty line (APL) families till the identification of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is completed in the state.

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It may be mentioned that the state government had requested the Centre to extend the deadline till August 2015 saying it would complete distribution of ration cards among the beneficiaries during the month.

The request of the state government had come after the Centre decided to stop supply of foodgrain to APL families from April 5 next year.

“The NFSA can be implemented only after the digitised beneficiary database is placed in public domain,” Food Supply and Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi said in a letter to consumer affairs ministry secretary Sudhir Kumar.

“In view of this, we would request you to relax the decision taken in the meeting of food secretaries to stop the supply of subsidized foodgrain to APL families from April,” he wrote.

Stating that the plight of people both below and above poverty line was almost the same in the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region, Padhi has urged the Centre to take Odisha as a special case and allow the state to receive foodgrain for APL families.

Odisha has 35.66 lakh APL families, out of which 5.27 lakh are in KBK region.

Padhi said the Centre’s decision to stop supply of subsidized foodgrain to APL families was in contrast to the provisions in the NFSA.

“The state shall continue to receive the allocation of foodgrain from the central government under the existing targeted public distribution system, till the identification of such households is complete,” the provision says.

The Centre has asked the Odisha government to implement NFSA by April next year. (IANS)

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