With the pending food subsidy bill of Odisha rising to Rs 10,333 crore, the State government urged the Centre to release the money immediately to bail out the State paddy procuring agency from financial stress.
According to the reports, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Rajendra Pratap Swain wrote a letter to Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal, requesting him to resolve the pressing issues.
He said the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation, the designated agency for procurement of paddy for the State government, is to receive Rs 7,931.90 crore as provisional subsidy and an advance subsidy of Rs 2,402.19 crore taking the total subsidy claim to Rs 10,334 crore by the end of April 2022.
He further added that the additional interest incurred till March 31, 2022, because of delay in release and short release of subsidy comes to around Rs 5,454.67 crore which remains unrecouped. The Centre should pay the interest component failing which the State will bear the additional cost.
In the 2021-22 Kharif marketing season (KMS), out of 52 lakh tonnes of rice procurement, the State’s consumption will be about 39 lakh tonnes under the public distribution system (PDS) and other welfare schemes. The State is likely to have a surplus of 13 lakh tonnes of rice which should be lifted immediately for smooth procurement operation.
In addition, the State government has taken all necessary steps to deliver five lakh tonne of fortified parboiled rice to FCI as per the target given by the Department of Food and Public Distribution in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.
The State is in a position to deliver a higher quantity of fortified parboiled rice and DFPD has been requested to give an additional target of fortified parboiled rice during KMS 2021-22.
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