Odisha Cabinet clears proposal to launch own food security act

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to implement its own food security act, the Odisha Cabinet on Monday approved the proposal taking the act a step closer to reality.

Informing about the development, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said,” The government has targeted to cover nearly 25 lakh beneficiaries in the first phase of the scheme to be launched from Gandhi Jayanti (October 2).”

Padhi further said 11 auto-inclusion and nine-auto exclusion criteria have been fixed to select or exclude beneficiaries.

The process of enrolment under the scheme will be completed within two months while people have to apply for the scheme at block levels. As per the prescribed food security norms, a beneficiary will be entitled to get 5 Kg of rice at Rs 1 per kg.

“Additional Rs 220 crore would be spent by the State government while Rs 81 crore will be initially spent towards implementing the scheme in the first six months from October,” Padhi informed.

Senior government officials informed that even though no budgetary allocation has been made so far for launching the scheme, provision for funds will be made in the supplementary budget.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier announced about the Food Security Act on July 28 after Centre failed to include additional beneficiaries, as demanded by the Odisha government, under the National Food Security Act (NSFA).

State government claimed that nearly 34.44 lakh beneficiaries were left out of the Centre’s scheme which chose beneficiaries as per 2011 census.

(Photo Source : World Food Programme)