Bhubaneswar: The State government has deleted names of at least 50 lakh ineligible beneficiaries from the list of people to benefit from the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
“Another 20 lakh names are to be deleted,” M S Padhi, secretary of food supplies and consumer welfare department said.
“As many as 50 lakh people registered to avail benefits from the NFSA illegally have been deleted by end of August. A total of 70 lakh ineligible beneficiaries are to be put out of the list,” he said.
The NFSA, which was to be implemented in the state by September end, however, faced difficulties due to registration of excess number of beneficiaries.
While the Centre has allowed the state to provide benefits of the NFSA to 3.26 crore of people of the state’s total population of 4.21 crore, many more people had got their names registered.
Padhi said he was in touch with the collectors of all the 30 districts to ensure that no ineligible person was included in the list of NFSA beneficiaries.
Earlier, the state government appointed 26 senior officials as Nodal Officers to ensure that the database of beneficiaries prepared for implementation of the NFSA is faultless.
The senior officials visited the districts and even some of the Gram Panchayats (GPs) in rural areas and wards in urban zones of the districts to verify the beneficiary list.
As the process of identification of beneficiaries under NFSA has now almost 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.
“The Centre has agreed to extend the deadline,” Padhi said, adding that as many as 105 lakh households comprising 399 lakh individuals had applied for new ration cards under NFSA, while population as per Census 2011 is 419 Lakh.
Officials said that ineligible applicants are being identified with the help of IBM Master Data Management (MDM) tool database of exclusion criteria including government employees, income tax payers, vehicle owners and pensioners.
Meanwhile, the state government has suspended about 60 employees, including 17 from ganjam district on charges of violation of the NFSA norms. About 2.5 lakh employees have so far opted out of the NFSA list, officials said.