Odisha urges Centre Not to Stop Subsidised Foodgrain for APL

Bhubaneswar, Dec 22: Odisha has urged the union government not to stop supplying subsidised foodgrain to above poverty line (APL) families till the identification of beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) is completed in the state.

While the union government decided to stop supply of foodgrain to APL families from April 5, 2015, the state government requested the Centre to extend the deadline till August 2015, as the government expects to distribute ration cards to the beneficiaries by that month.

"The NFSA can be implemented only after the digitised beneficiary database is placed in public domain," Food Supply and Consumer Welfare secretary Madhusudan Padhi said in a letter to consumer affairs ministry secretary Sudhir Kumar.

"In view of this, we would request you to relax the decision taken in the meeting of food secretaries to stop the supply of subsidised foodgrain to APL families from April," he wrote.

He said the plight of people both below and above poverty line was almost the same in the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (KBK) region, and urged the Centre to take Odisha as a special case and allow the state to receive foodgrain for APL families.

Odisha has 35.66 lakh APL families, out of which 5.27 lakh are in KBK region.

Padhi said the Centre's decision to stop supply of subsidised foodgrain to APL families was in contrast to the provisions in the NFSA.

"The state shall continue to receive the allocation of foodgrain from the central government under the existing targeted public distribution system, till the identification of such households is complete," the provision says.

Odisha was asked to implement the NFSA by April 2015.

In the first phase, the government will implement the Act in areas under the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and in Bhubaneswar block in January.


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