Odisha CM seeks release of Rs 3654.41 crore food subsidy from Centre

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday asked the Centre for the immediate release of food subsidy amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore for timely payment to farmers in the State.

In a letter to Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, the Chief Minister stated that the subsidy bill amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore relating to Odisha are pending with Department of Food and Public Distribution.

“It is a matter of concern that the subsidy bill amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore (which includes the advance subsidy up to March 2019) relating to the State of Odisha are pending with DFPD. Such a huge pendency is causing a shortage of funds at Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), which may become a major roadblock for ensuring timely payment to farmers,” Patnaik said.

OSCSC, which procures paddy on behalf of the government, has procured more than 40, 00, 000 MT of paddy and around Rs 6,000 crore has already been transferred to the accounts of the farmers this year. It is on the verge of reaching its credit limit. It borrows money from the banks to pay the cost of paddy directly to the farmers, he noted.

“In order to ensure that adequate funds are available with OSCSC for payment to the farmers, it is necessary that the food subsidy is regularly released by DFPD to the Government of Odisha,” said Patnaik.

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