National Food Security Scheme put on fast-track

Bhubaneswar: Identification of priority households for rolling out the National Food Security Scheme has been put to first-track with chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati reviewing its progress in a high-level meeting at Secretariat today.

Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi presented the updates and outlined issues for discussion in the meeting. The chief secretary advised the department to match the enlisted households with NPR and socio-economic survey data base to eliminate the inclusion and exclusion errors. The department was also advised to have Adhar seeding of NFSA data base.

Pati has further directed the department to augment the consumer welfare activities by involving consumers of various goods and services. Involving consumers as informants for checking of standard weights and measures through ‘cloud sourcing’ on web-based monitoring system was also deliberated upon in the meeting.

It came up during review that the government has already approved 8 exclusion and 5 inclusion criteria for identification of priority households under NFSA. These have been put on public domain in www.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the pilot project for identification of priority households in Bhubaneswar corporation and block areas has come to an end. Applications received have been digitized and published inviting of objection from public. After considerations of the objections, the list will be put in ward, gram sabha, panchayat samiti and corporation level meetings for scrutiny.

It was decided in the meeting that the process for deification of priority households for the entire State will be started next month. Registration centres will be located at panchayat level. In urban areas, one registration centre will be opened for each 5,000 population. The applications received will be digitized with reference to NPR ID number of the family.

The digitized data base will then be compared with secondary data base from various departments through Master Data Management (MDM) tool for cross checking. Suspected cases will be physically verified by designated officers. Then, the draft list will be published inviting public objections. The objections will be heard and decided at block/urban local body (ULB) level.

After that, the list will be scrutinized in gram sabha/ward meetings and will be put for approval of the respective civic body. The cards will then be distributed to the identified households in public meetings at block/ULB level.

It was also decided that one centre will function at each block/ULB level even after 15-day period fixed for digitization of applications to take care of left-out genuine households. These centres will function for two months. A dynamic Ration Card Management System (RCMS) will be put in place in the State Data Center for managing new applications, addition/deletion proposals, requests for modifications, change of names, change of locations etc in the cards.

Pati asked the department to launch a campaign for creating awareness among the consumers about benefits of insisting on invoices at the time of purchasing any product or service. The department was also asked to document exemplary consumer ceases from consumer forums and exhibit those in public.

Odisha State Civil supplies Corporation managing director Niranjan Nayak, Consumer Welfare director Ratnakara Rout and other senior officers of the department participated in the deliberations.