Bhubaneswar: Odisha government today said its flagship programme of Re 1 a kg of rice for the poor will continue though the National Food Security Act (NFSA) has been implemented in the state.

"I am glad that the NFSA along with distribution of digitised ration cards was rolled out in Odisha. This will help beneficiaries to get their entitlements transparently. It will also streamline the PDS system. Moreover, our Re 1 per kg rice program covering 60 lakh families every month will continue," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said launching the scheme at Chakeishiani in Ward No 5 of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) here.

The e-Bitarana is the consolidation of all activities relating to identification of beneficiaries, supply chain management system, door-step delivery of foodgrains at Fair Price Shops, effective grievance redressal mechanism to strengthen targeted PDS for implementation of NFSA, he said.

Patnaik also said the state government was in the process of enacting the State Food Security Act to ensure food and nutrition security for each eligible family.

"The PDS related grievances received from citizens shall be redressed instantly with the introduction of an SMS alert system," Patnaik said.

Asked how to provide Re 1 kg rice to poor when the Centre fixed Rs 3 per kg rice under NFSA, food and supplies minister Sanjay Dasburma said,: "There should be no doubt over it. As such the state government now provides rice at the rate of Re 1 a kg when the price of Centre's subsidised rice is Rs 6.30 per kg."

Food and supplies secretary M S Padhy said: "The state will instead gain from the rice scheme as it will now give subsidy of only Rs 2 per rice per rice while earlier it used to give a subsidy of Rs 5.30 per kg of rice."

While the state government was earlier giving subsidised rice of 25 kg to each 60 lakh families, now under NFSA, it would give cheap rice to above 3.26 crore poor families.