Naveen Urges Centre For Early Release Of PDS Subsidy

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday urged the Centre for the immediate release of the outstanding PDS subsidy of Rs 2123 crore.

In a letter to the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Ram Vilas Paswan, Naveen Patnaik said the state government undertakes the procurement of paddy on behalf of the Centre through its agencies.

It is, therefore, mandatory as per the agreed terms and conditions that the anticipated cost will be released in the form of advance subsidy at 90 per cent of the admissible claim on a quarterly basis in the first month of every quarter. Further, the designated agency of the state government shall be paid quarterly provisional subsidy on the deduction of the advanced amount.

“However, the release of advance and provisional subsidy to Odisha is irregular and un-patterned, despite the state furnishing the utilisation certificates in respect of the preceding period while submitting the claim of advance subsidy at the start of every quarter. Due to delay in the release of subsidy, the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC) has incurred an outstanding liability of Rs 2123 crore as receivable provisional subsidy by accumulation from the 2017-18 financial year.

Besides, the advance subsidy due to the state for the quarter ending September 30 is Rs 1345 crore. The delay in the release of funds has resulted in increased bank borrowing and interest burden on the corporation which must also be borne by the Centre,” the Chief Minister said and requested the Union minister to take measures for one- time clearance of outstanding dues of the state at the earliest.

The CM reminded Paswan that the MoU between the state Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department and the Union Food and Public Distribution lays mechanism for zero financial liability on the procuring agencies with regard to permissible items of cost to be borne by the Centre.

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