BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release food grains and funds pending under Annapurna Scheme.In letter to the Prime Minister, Naveen said, “It is a matter of concern that for 2016-17 and 2017-18 no allocation of food grains has been received by the State from the Department of Food and Public Distribution. Further, no funds have been received from the Ministry of Rural Development for 2017-18.”The Chief Minister said in order to avoid inconvenience to the eligible old people and ensure that their food security is taken care of, the State continues to meet the entire allocation of food grains out of the State pool, which is causing an additional financial burden on the Government.
“I would, therefore, request you to kindly issue instructions to the ministers concerned for early release of food grains and funds relating to the previous years and also ensure timely release of allocation in future for smooth running of the scheme,” the Chief Minister said.
Naveen said under the Annapurna scheme, 10 kg of rice is provided free of cost to those senior citizens who, though eligible, have not been covered under the national old age pension scheme. The Ministry of Rural Development is the nodal Ministry at Government of India level and they release the funds for operation of the scheme, he said.Department of Food and Public Distribution under Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution releases allotment of food grains, Naveen added. “In Odisha, we are covering 64,800 old people under the scheme,” he mentioned.