Odisha struggles to meet beneficiary target for its own food security scheme

Bhubaneswar: With barely a few days left for the implementation of Odisha’s own food security scheme, the State government seems to be struggling to meet the targeted number of eligible beneficiaries.

Sources said the State government so far has enrolled only a little over 15 lakh beneficiaries against the target to include 25 lakh beneficiaries under its ambitious food security programme.

Such a situation has cropped up allegedly after names of several eligible beneficiaries in different parts of the state were dropped from the scheme which promises rice at Rs 1 per kg.

As per reports, resentment is brewing among several people who failed to get their names included under the new food security scheme of the State government. Out of the targeted 38,162 persons, only 27, 780 beneficiaries could be identified in Malkangiri district and 61,000 beneficiaries against the target of 81,000 people in Koraput.

Koraput Civil Supplies officer, Tularam Nayak stated that “19,000 left out beneficiaries will be included under the scheme as all officers are engaged in identifying the eligible ones in the district.”

As per official sources 15.74 lakh people have been indentified to be included under the scheme against the preliminary target of 25 lakh beneficiaries. The new food security scheme will be launched from October 2.

Though Odisha government had extended the deadline for filing application and made certain modifications in the eligibility criteria, it has failed to get the desired number of beneficiaries as per the target.

However, Food and Consumer Welfare Minister, Surya Narayan Patro claimed that 25 lakh people will be provided rice at subsidised rates under the scheme from October 2.

“We still have time and we will meet the target,” said Patro.