Naveen Requests Centre For Timely Release Of Food Subsidy Bill
Bhubaneswar: With elections around the corner, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested the Centre for release of food subsidy to Odisha so as to ensure timely payment to farmers.
The Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), a State PSU, which procures paddy on behalf of the government borrows money from the banks to pay the cost of paddy directly to the farmers. While Rs 7600 crore was paid to farmers last year, the payment this year has already crossed more than Rs 6000 crore and OSCSC is on the verge of reaching its credit limit, the Chief Minister pointed out in his letter to Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan.
Timely release of the food subsidy by the Department of Food and Public Distribution under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs helps the OSCSC to ensure regular payment to the farmers for their produce.
“However, it is a matter of concern that the subsidy bill amounting to Rs 3651.41 crore (which includes the advance subsidy up to March 2019) relating to the State of Odisa are pending with DFPD. Such a huge pendency is causing shortage of funds at OSCSC, which may become a major road block for ensuring timely payment to farmers,” he said.
Seeking Paswan’s intervention and necessary direction for immediate release of the money, he said adequate availability of funds with OSCSC would help in protecting the interest of the farmers.
In his letter the CM said due the effective and transparent system put in place by the Odisha government such as the Paddy Procurement Automation System, the quantum of paddy procurement has grown manifold and the cost of the paddy is being directly transferred to the account of the farmers.
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