CM writes to Paswan seeking early release of pending food subsidy

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Friday sought the intervention of Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan for the immediate release of pending food subsidy bills amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore.

In a letter to Paswan, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stated that the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (OSCSC) has been undertaking procurement of paddy since 2003-04 on behalf of Odisha Government, the funds for which are borrowed from the banks and directly transferred to the accounts of the farmers.

Due to an effective and transperant system under paddy procurement automation system (P-PAS), the quantum of paddy procurement has grown manifold and the cost of paddy is directly transferred to the accounts of farmers.

Odisha had transferred Rs 7,600 crore directly to the account of the farmers last Year.The State has procured more than 40, 00, 000 MT of paddy and around Rs 6,000 crore has already been transferred to the accounts of the farmers this year. Due to procrement of such huge quantity, the OSCSC is almost on the verge of reaching its cash credit limit.

In order to ensure that adequate funds are available with the OSCSC for payment to the farmers, the State government has urged the Centre to release food by DFPD.

“It is a matter of concern that the subsidy bill amounting to Rs 3651.41 crore (which includes the advance subsidy up to March 2019) relating to the State of Odisha is pending with DFPD. Such a huge pendency is causing shortage of funds at OSCSC, which may become a major road block for ensuring timely payment to farmers,” Naveen wrote in his letter.