Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday wrote to  Prime Minister Narendra Modi's seeking his help to enhance the number of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013 in the state by 34.44 lakh, in view of the growth in population.

In the letter, Patnaik has sought inclusion of additional 34.44 lakh beneficiaries under the NFS Act, in accordance with the population growth since 2011, to ensure coverage of all eligible persons.

Stating that 3.26 crore beneficiaries are already covered, Patnaik mentioned that enhancing the number of beneficiaries would ensure food security to all eligible persons of the state and help serve the objectives of the NFSA.

The chief minister also suggested that a mechanism be put in place wherein the target is modified at regular intervals to increase the coverage of the beneficiaries in accordance with an increase in the population, officials said.

"This is to bring to your notice that for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, Odisha was given a target of 3,26,41,800 beneficiaries, which was 78 per cent of the 2011 Census population of 4,19,74,218," the chief minister said.

Odisha has successfully implemented the programme and is providing ration to the beneficiaries regularly, he said, adding that according to 2011 census data, the rate of growth of population of Odisha was 14 per cent in last decade.

"If we extrapolate this data, then in 2018 the population of Odisha has increased by 10.22 per cent as compared to 2011. It is estimated that the total population of Odisha in 2018 would be 4,62,63,983," Patnaik said.

"Allowing the same percentage of coverage as was decided when the Act came into force, then we are entitled to cover 3,60,85,907 beneficiaries under the NFS Act," he said.