Odisha increases ration cost for mid-day meal

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 22 (IANS) Odisha has increased the cost of ration to serve nutritious mid-day meals to school students following the steep hike in prices of pulses and vegetables.

Keeping the average unit cost of expenditure, the government increased ration cost from Rs.4.21 to Rs.4.31 for primary students and from Rs.6.29 to Rs.6.43 for upper primary students, Gangadhar Sahoo, the state nodal officer for the mid-day meal scheme, said on Monday.

He said he has already written a letter to all district collectors on this.

Official sources said the quality of food served in mid-day meals has declined due to increasing prices of vegetables and pulses.

The decision to increase ration cost will benefit 51 lakh students in 63,000 schools.

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The state government spends about Rs.800 crore every year to implement the mid-day meal scheme.

Sources said the state would now bear 40 percent of the mid-day meal cost and the centre the balance 60 percent.

Earlier, it was 75:25 between the centre and the state.

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