Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government will implement its own Food Security Act to cover nearly 34.44 lakh people who have been left out under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The new Act will be launched on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, 2018, announced Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through a video message on Saturday.

Patnaik further stated that the State government in 2014 had announced special measures for ensuring food security of the people in Odisha.

"The State government will launch the Food Security Act from October 2 and not a single poor here will be deprived of his rights," said Patnaik.

Earlier, Odisha had launched a scheme to provide rice to poor at Rs 2 per kg in 2008. After its successful implementation, rice at Rs 1 per kg was introduced in 2013 which was one of the major steps towards ensuring food security in the country.

However, nearly 34.44 lakh beneficiaries of Odisha are left out of the Centre’s scheme that was done as per the 2011 census, under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Odisha Chief Minister had also raked up the issue with Centre several times to cover the left out beneficiaries as per the increase in population, no step was taken in this regard, alleged BJD leaders.

Congress leader Sarat Rout on the other hand said it is a just a political gimmick by the ruling BJD ahead of 2019 elections.

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"Such an announcement has been made to sail through the upcoming elections. Had the Odisha government implemented and fulfilled the criteria under the NFSA, people of State had not suffered," said Rout.

BJP Spokesperson Golak Mohapatra stated, "Odisha government has even failed to provide NFSA cards to eligible beneficiaries in the State."

(Photo source: The Hindu)