Two years on, still no FSA in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Though the Food Security Act came into being two years back, Odisha government is yet to implement it. Seven states across India have fully implemented the Act, in Odisha the cloud of uncertainty still prevails amidst delays.

Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have fully implemented the act while five starts have only been able to partially implement it. Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Jharkhand along with Lakshadweep are targeting full implementation by September 2015.

In Odisha,3.95 crore people have been registered under the Act and out of these 16 lakh registered citizens are under the doubtful list of beneficiaries as per the guidelines of the Act. Similarly, 35 lakh families have registrations in more than one place while 23 lakh persons are yet to submit full information required for registration. Meanwhile, the State government has identified 3.21 crore registered persons under its draft priority list.

As per the central government guidelines, 78 per cent of rural population and 56 per cent of people in urban areas of the state have been identified to get the benefit under the NFSA based on the 2011 census report. Beneficiaries including women getting widow pensions, tribal and people with weaker economic background in the state will get rice at Rs 3/kg, wheat at Rs 2/kg and other food grains at Re 1/kg once this Act comes into force. These benefits will be passed on to the eligible beneficiaries through the help of digitised ration cards for which all the required information and the distribution system has to be computerised.

Similarly, all the inventories will have to under close circuit television camera surveillance while the transportation and logistics of the food grains have to be closely monitored. Moreover, after the beneficiaries are given subsidised food grains, the data have to be updated in the system and an electronic receipt will be handed over to the beneficiaries. Furthermore, the beneficiaries should also be able to retrieve all the information by swiping their food smart card given to them.

However, keeping in mind degree of implantation till now in Odisha, doubts are being raised over its implementation within the targeted deadline.