BHUBANESWAR: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged the Centre to release the pending foodgrains quota under National Food Security Act (NFSA) for the State.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said the Central Government was requested for the release of 3.20 lakh MT rice and 52.9 thousand MT wheat for three months from November, 2015 to January, 2016. However, the Centre has so far released 2.92 lakh MT rice and 78.4 thousand MT wheat under NFSA resulting in a shortfall of 27,900 MT rice and surplus of 25,500 MT wheat, he said.
“Odisha is a rice consuming State and most people prefer rice as their staple diet. The State Government’s request was based on a ratio of 85.82:14.18 derived from the option of beneficiaries indicated in their NFSA applications,” the letter stated.
Failure to supply foodgrains as per the choice of NFSA beneficiaries will be against the spirit of the Act, the Chief Minister said.
Claiming that the State has successfully implemented the food security programme from November, 2015, Naveen said 80.05 lakh families (covering 2.98 crore people) have been enrolled as priority households and Antyodaya Anna Yojana households under NFSA. He further said the list of beneficiaries has been placed in public domain and the State Government’s demand for foodgrains is based on the entitlement of individual beneficiary as per the Act. The Centre has allocated more wheat to the State on basis of the consumption pattern of pre-NFSA days. Since 85.82 per cent of the beneficiaries have given their preference for rice, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution be directed to supply the rice needed and take back surplus wheat from the State, the Chief Minister said.
Naveen has also explained the situation to Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in a separate letter.