Odisha govt hikes its share in spend on MDM

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the rise in the prices of edible items and to ensure quality of food, the Odisha government has decided to increase its share of the expenditure on the Centrally-sponsored Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme from 25 percent to 40 percent.

Talking to OTV today, Gangadhara Sahu, State Nodal Officer, MDM, Odisha, said as per the order of the commissioner-cum-secretary, State School and Mass Education department, district collectors have been informed that the state government, after careful consideration, has approved the revised daily ration cost from Rs 4.21 to Rs 4.31 and from Rs 6.29 to Rs 6.43 for the students of Primary and Upper Primary schools respectively.

It may be mentioned that the self-help groups (SHGs) and other agencies associated with the MDM scheme, had urged the state government to increase the expenditure following a steep rise in the price of pulses and vegetables.

The decision of the state government has been welcomed by school teachers and students.

“Due to the steep rise in the price of urad dal, we are now providing green grams (moong dal) to the students. Now that the government has decided to increase the mid-day meal expenditure, we will again provide urad dal to them”, Manjulata Samal, headmistress of Jhadeswar Primary School in Balasore, told OTV.

Sources in the School and Mass Education department said nearly 51 lakh children of 63,000 Primary and Upper Primary schools in Odisha are being provided mid-day meal.

While about Rs 800 crore is spent under the scheme, the Centre would now share 60 percent of the expenditure and the state government 40 percent.