Odisha urges Centre for 100% rice allocation under NFSA

Bhubaneswar: Citing the examples of different States which are being allocated either 100% rice or wheat under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare and Cooperation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain has urged the Centre to consider allocating 100% rice to the State under NFSA.

In a letter, Swain wrote yesterday to Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal for considering allocation of 100% rice to the State for distribution among the beneficiaries of NFSA. The Odisha Minister added the proposal will lessen the plight of Public Distribution System (PDS) beneficiaries of Odisha.

Swain further mentioned as Odisha is predominantly a rice consuming State, the imposition of wheat allocation to the State seems arbitrary and causing dissatisfaction among the beneficiaries.

It is worth to mention that Odisha is being allocated food grains of rice and wheat at a ratio of 86% and 14% respectively against its total monthly requirement of food grains under NFSA.

“Allocation of 14% wheat to Odisha in the absence of wheat flour milling units in rural areas is supplementing to the difficulties of the beneficiaries in remote areas and also not fulfilling the mandate of food security,” the letter read.

On February 18, 2022, Swain had also written to the Department of Food and Public Distribution on the issue.

The Odisha government has been maintaining digitized and dynamic database of 3.254 crores beneficiaries categorized as priority household and Antyodaya Anna Yojana Household in the scheme as prescribed by the Government of India.

The beneficiaries list has been also uploaded in the department’s transparency portal. The coverage of beneficiaries under NFSA is well within the GoI upper ceiling of 3,26,41,800 beneficiaries data of which is being shared every month to the Central Data Repository of DoFPD for record and reference, Swain’s letter mentioned.

He cited the examples of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Telangana States which are being allocated 100% rice and wheat consuming state like Punjab and Rajasthan are being allocated 100% wheat.

Even the wheat consuming State of Haryana is also having a ratio of 67% wheat and the remaining 33% of food grain allocation is coarse grain which is the State’s own procurement, the letter mentioned.

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