PHULBANI: Funds shortage has prevented panchayats from lifting the allotted rice quota for April.
Every month 58,587.60 quintals of rice is sold to beneficiaries of various welfare schemes through 168 centres in 153 gram panchayats of the district. In April, only 112 centres deposited the amount against the rice allotted to them, said District Civil Supplies Officer B Kerketa. Most defaulters were the panchayats, he added.
Out of the 168 centres, 114 are being operated by respective panchayats, 34 managed by cooperative societies, 16 by SHGs while two centres each are managed by the Departmental Mobile Vans in Balliguda block and Maitree (Fair Price Shop) at Phulbani Municipality and Balliguda block.
In Tumudibandha block, nine centres could not lift rice due to funds crunch. Similarly, only three out of 30 centres in Phiringia block, six out of 11 in Tikabali block, seven out of 10 in Raikia, 10 out of 17 in Balliguda, 19 out of 26 in Daringbadi block and six out of 10 centres in Kotagarh block have deposited the amount.
Two years back, all panchayats were given ` 25,000 each as revolving funds for essential commodities business.
Diversion of the said fund for other works has led to this situation, said the Civil Supplies Officer.
Meanwhile, the Collector has instructed the panchayats to immediately purchase their quota of rice for the beneficiaries with funds available for other purposes.