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Odisha CM Dashes Letter To Union Food Minister, Cites Delay & Urges Immediate Release Of Subsidy

08 February 2019

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar: Pointing out delay in release of food subsidy by the Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) of Government of India, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today shot a letter to Union Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan requesting him for immediate release of money.

“In view of the urgency of the matter, I would request your intervention and necessary direction for immediate release of money, which will help in protecting the interest of the farmers,” the letter stresses.

The letter states, “It is a matter of concern that the subsidy bills amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore (which includes the advance subsidy bills up to March 2019) relating to the State of Odisha are pending DFPD. Such a huge pendency is causing shortage of funds at OSCSC, which may become a major road block for ensuring timely payment to the farmers.”

The Odisha Chief Minister in his letter has also stated, “This year, we have already procured more than 40,00,000 MT of paddy and more than Rs 6000 crore has already been transferred to the accounts of farmers. Due to procurement of such huge quantity, the OSCSC is almost on the verge of reaching its cash credit limit. In order to ensure that adequate funds are available with OSCSC for payment to the farmers, it is necessary that the food subsidy is regularly released by DFPD to the Government of Odisha.”

The letter also mentions, “Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. (OSCSC), a State PSU, has been undertaking procurement of paddy since 2003-04 on behalf of Government of Odisha. The funds for the entire procurement operations are borrowed by OSCSC from banks. Due to an effective and transparent system put in place by Government of Odisha, namely, Paddy Procurement Automation System (P-PAS), the quantum of paddy procurement has grown manifold and the cost of paddy is being directly transferred to the accounts of farmers. Last year, we had transferred about Rs 7600.00 crore to the accounts of farmers.”

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