Basant Panda slams govt over NFSA irregularities

Bhubaneswar: The newly-appointed Odisha BJP president Basant Panda today slammed the State government for widespread irregularities in the preparation of National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiary list and ration card distribution.

While addressing his first press meet after taking the reins of the State unit, Panda said; “The party has decided to launch mass protests across the state till the time all eligible beneficiaries are given ration cards under NFSA and proper management of the whole process of distribution is ensured. The state government missed the deadline of NFSA implementation and took additional time till 2015. Even after taking additional time, it is now found out that eligible beneficiaries have been left out and party members of BJD have illegally got the ration cards issued in their own names. MLAs, Mayors, Zilla Parishad office bearers etc have all availed cards in their names fraudulently and against the guidelines of NFSA.”

“Apart from sporadic instances, no action has been initiated against the offenders. As per the guidelines of NFSA, such lapses are punishable offences. We demand immediate arrest of all those involved in this fraud,” the BJP chief said.

Panda also pooh-poohed the State government’s claim on the Re.1 Rice scheme, and asked the BJD government to come out and disclose the Central contribution towards the scheme.

Citing that the Centre contributes Rs 27.38 out of the total subsidy of Rs 30.38 under the scheme, Panda alleged that the State government is only taking undue credit for the scheme without any significant contribution.

Denying the charges, Food Supplies minister Sanjay Das Burma said, “With sincerity and transparency, the NFSA is being implemented in the State. If anyone is bringing up allegations the government, the person should immediately discuss with the Food ministry Joint Secretary on it.”

Mounting attack on BJP, which is in power at the Centre, BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy said, “The Centre should take responsibility fully for the implementation of NFSA. They are rolling the ball to the State. As per them (the Centre), the State should execute the law formulated by the Centre. It is not a healthy sign of the cooperative federalism. This way the quarrel between the Centre and State will grow.”