Odisha cabinet approves state’s own food security scheme

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Bhubaneswar, July 30 (IANS) The Odisha cabinet on Monday approved the state government’s own food security scheme to cover 34.44 lakh people, who have been left out under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

The state government has decided to utilise its own resources to cover all poor, distressed and eligible beneficiaries who have been left out under NFSA, said Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi.

The requirement of requisite quantity of rice per year will be met out of the state pool. The distribution of rice to the new beneficiaries will start from Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) this year.

Around 25 lakh beneficiaries across the state will be covered in the first phase this year, said Padhi.

The state government proposed to fix 11 auto inclusion criteria and nine auto exclusion criteria for selection of beneficiaries under this scheme, he added.

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Five new auto-inclusion criteria have been added to the existing six auto inclusion criteria under NFSA.

These criteria have been included as per guidelines issued by the Central government to cover poor and distressed persons under Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Annapurna scheme.

The state government took the decision to implement its own food security scheme after the central government did not respond to the state’s request to include the left out poor people.

The NFSA was implemented as per the 2011 Census.

“As per the 2011 Census population, the rate of growth of population in Odisha was 14 per cent in the last decade. The rate of growth translates to an increase in population by 10.22 per cent compared to 2011. The approximate population of the state in 2018 is 4,62,63,983. If the same percentage of 78 per cent coverage (NFSA) is followed, then there is a shortfall in coverage,” said Padhi.

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–IANS

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