The state government of Odisha on October 2, 2018 launched its own food security scheme to benefit the 25 lakh poor people who were left out of the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) was launched by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik through video conferencing on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. While the CM launched the scheme in four districts - Bolangir, Balasore, Sundergarh and Mayurbhanj, the state’s MPs and MLAs launched the programme in the rest of the parts.
The scheme will benefit 25 lakh vulnerable populace that were excluded from coverage under NFSA.
Speaking during the launch, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that sufficient and nutritious food is a basic need and prerequisite for a healthy Odisha.
• Under the scheme, the beneficiaries will get 5 kg of rice per person per month at the rate of Rs 1 per kg, the same as availed by people covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
• Among the state's 4, 19, 74,218 population as per the 2011 census, 3,26,41,800 people (about 78 per cent) have been availing the benefits of NFSA.
• As per the provisions of the State Food Security Scheme, 25 lakh poor people "left out" from the benefits of the NFSA, will get the rice at subsidised rates.
• The distribution of rice to selected beneficiaries will be carried out through e-Point of sale (e-PoS) device at the designated fair price shops.
The Odisha government will spend Rs 442 crore per year for implementation of the scheme.
The state exchequer will bear additional Rs 221 crore from October 2018 to March 2019 for implementation of the programme.
In 2008, the Odisha government had decided to provide 1kg of rice to the poor people at Rs 2 per month. The price was reduced to Rs 1 per kg in 2013.
The NFSA was implemented in 2014; however, many people were denied the benefit.
The present state government in its 2014 election campaign had promised to introduce the state's own food security scheme.
The move was taken after the centre repeatedly failed to respond to the state’s plea of including the left out people in its national food security scheme.
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