Minister Patro urges Centre to raise upper ceiling of NFSA beneficiaries

Bhubaneswar: Citing the growth in the State’s population in past six years and higher density of SC/ST populace, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Surya Narayan Patro today urged the Centre to increase the upper ceiling of beneficiaries for Odisha under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by 15 lakh individuals.

In a letter to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan, Patro mentioned, “There would be around 4-5% increase in population of the State during the last six years as evident from the trends in the census report where the projection is at 436.50 lakh. In case 78% of the projected population growth figure is taken, the upper ceiling of NFSA beneficiaries for Odisha will be at 340.49, around 14 lakh less than the existing limit at 3,26,41,800 fixed by the Centre.”

Patro further wrote, “As per the provisions of the NFSA, the Odisha government has identified 3,23,45,113 individuals to be eligible beneficiaries using the Census 2011 population data, which is around 77.06% of the census figures,” adding that the existing upper ceiling does not give much leeway to cover number of eligible applications pending at district level.

The upper ceiling for Odisha has been fixed by the Centre at 82.17% of rural population and 55.77% of urban population with reference to the NSS Household Consumption Survey data for 2011-12.