BHUBANESWAR: Even as union minister for food and consumer welfare Ram Bilas Paswan said Centre does not have any power to rectify irregularities in the implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA), the state unit BJP demanded that the ministry should issue directives for its proper execution.
There is simmering discontent across Odisha as the State Government has eliminated lakhs of poor people without any convincing guideline from the list of beneficiaries, a memorandum submitted by the party to the minister said.
The BJP alleged that thousands of BJD members and their supporters have enlisted themselves as beneficiaries to grab the benefits under NFSA. Alleging that there has been largescale irregularities in the implementation of NFSA, the party said no gram sabha was held anywhere in the state before selection of the beneficiaries.
The state government is procuring paddy through the Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) by engaging millers and middlemen to collect paddy from the farmers, the memorandum alleged and said this is resulting in distress sale of paddy. Procurement of paddy is delayed in connivance with officials of the civil supply department and district administration forcing farmers to go for distress sale, it said.
As a result of this unholy nexus actual farmers are deprived off getting the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Centre, the memorandum said and added the food ministry should issue guidelines to the state government in this regard.
The state BJP demanded that the Food Ministry should intervene in this matter and direct the state government to initiate legal action against officials and other who are responsible for violation of the provisions of the NFSA.
The memorandum demanded that the state government should be asked to procure paddy from the farmers and not to patronise middlemen and millers.