BHUBANESWAR: Even as Union Minister for Food and Consumer Welfare Ram Vilas Paswan said the Centre does not have any power to rectify irregularities in 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 Union Minister stated.
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 large-scale irregularities in implementation of NFSA, the party said no gram sabha was held anywhere in the State before selection of beneficiaries.
The State Government is procuring paddy through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS) by engaging millers and middlemen to collect paddy from farmers, the memorandum alleged and said this is resulting in distress sale of paddy. Procurement of paddy is delayed in connivance with officials of Civil Supply Department and district administration is forcing farmers to go for distress sale, it said.
As a result of this unholy nexus, actual farmers are deprived of getting the minimum support price (MSP) fixed by the Centre, the memorandum stated and added that 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 Odisha Government to initiate legal action against officials and others who are responsible for violation of the provisions of NFSA.
The memorandum demanded that the State Government should be asked to procure paddy from farmers and not to patronise middlemen and millers.