Bhubaneswar: Odisha continues to receive more than required wheat despite revision in rice quota under National Food Security Act (NFSA). Data from November 2015 till February 2017 revealed that Odisha has received 99, 961 metric tonne less than required rice from the centre under NFSA.
On the other hand, the State received 70, 322 metric tonne more wheat during the same time period.
According to sources, the State Food Supplies department has reminded seven times through letters to the Centre in four months to supply required rice.
In a bid to clear Centre’s doubts over the number of beneficiaries under the NFSA, the Secretary of the food supplies department has furnished the district-wise beneficiary list. After presenting the data before the Centre, the State government now hopes that it will receive required rice as per its demands.
Exactly a year back, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written letters to the Prime Minister and the Union Food minister demanding rice as per the number of beneficiaries. During that time, the Centre was supplying 27 metric tonnes less rice and 25 metric tonnes more wheat.
"There is a shortfall of rice of approximately 1 lakh metric tonne. We have informed the centre about the number of beneficiaries and their monthly requirements. If we are provided rice and wheat base on the data provided by us, there will be no shortfall," said Additional Director of the Food Supplies department, Dhirendra Kumar Sahoo.
Yet to receive the required amount of rice even after a year, the ruling-BJD has vented out its displeasure over the central government.
"Instead of rice, Odisha is being given wheat forcefully. Odisha requires more rice to the tune of 1 lakh metric tonne. If the centre does not act then it will add another chapter to its negligence towards Odisha," said BJD spokesperson, Amar Satpathy.
On the other hand, the Odisha Congress while raising doubts over the fact whether eligible beneficiaries are getting the rice or not, it has criticized the Centre for not providing required amount of rice to the State.
"Odisha requires more rice, but is getting more than required wheat. Our demand of more rice is justified. But the rice is not reaching the intended poor people of the State," said leader of Opposition, Narsingh Mishra.
Meanwhile, Odisha BJP spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra responded to allegations saying, "If you have rice then you give it and receive money from Centre. Hence, it is a non-issue and has nothing to do with the common man. This is not an issue and it is being politicized to gain mileage ahead of the panchayat elections."