Odisha’s own food security bill gets Cabinet nod

Bhubaneswar : Odisha Cabinet on Monday approved the state’s own food security bill to be implemented in the state from October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

The proposal was approved during the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat after a thorough discussion. The Food Security Act will cover an additional 34 lakh people who have been allegedly left out from the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said, as many as 25 lakh beneficiaries across the state will be covered under the shame in the first phase.

“The state government has fixed 11 criteria for selection of beneficiaries. Poor, distress and eligible beneficiaries will be covered under the scheme. The state Government will spend Rs 220 crore extra in the first 6 months. Eligible beneficiaries can apply within 2 months of the time,” Padhi said.

Under the scheme, eligible beneficiaries will get 5 kg rice per month at Rs 1. The scheme will be implemented across the state from October 2 on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

Food Security Scheme to cover poor, distressed and eligible beneficiaries

As per 2011 Census population, the rate of growth of population in Odisha was 14 per cent in the last decade. The rate of growth translates to an increase in population by 10.22 % compared to 2011. The approximate population of the state in 2018 is 4,62,63,983. If the same percentage of 78% coverage (NFSA) is followed, then there is a shortfall in the coverage.

Government of India has not considered state government’s request to increase the beneficiaries upper ceiling. The issue was taken up with the Centre a number of times to increase the target by 34.44 lakh under NFSA. Hon’ble Chief Minister had also written to Hon’ble Prime Minister on the issue. However, no response was received from Government of India.

Hence, Government of Odisha decided to utilise its own resources to cover all poor, distressed and eligible beneficiaries who have been left out under NFSA to be covered under food security.

The Government of Odisha is committed not to leave a single poor, distressed and eligible beneficiary from food security coverage.

The requirement of requisite quantity of rice per year will be met out of the State Pool.

The distribution of rice to these new beneficiaries will start from October 2

It is proposed to fix the following exclusion criteria to be used during selection or eligible beneficiaries under this scheme.

(a) Household having a member who owns a four-wheeler vehicle or a heavy vehicle.

(b) Households having a member waiting as a regular employee of Central or the state government, Public Sector Undertaking, government aided autonomous body and local bodies (incentive and honorarium based workers would not be considered under this criterion).

(c) Households having a member working in private sector with monthly salary of more Rs 10,000in rural areas and Rs 15,000 in urban areas.

(d) Households having a member who owns an enterprise (other than micro enterprise) registered with the government for manufacturing and services.

(e) Households having domestic electric connection with a load of 2 KW or more and/or consuming an average of 300 units of energy (KWH) pet month (average over one year)

(f) Households having a member paying income tax or professional tax.

(g) Households having a member drawing a monthly pension of more than Rs 10,000 per month in rural areas and Rs 15,000 per month in urban areas.

(h) Households having a member who owns Tractors and Harvesters.

(i) Households who own three or more rooms with RCC roof not constructed under the Indira Awas Yojana or the      Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana or the Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana or the Nirman Shramik Yojana.

It is proposed to fix the following 11 auto inclusion criteria for selection of beneficiaries under this scheme. Five new auto-inclusion criteria have been proposed i.e. as at (g) to (k) below to be added to the existing six auto-inclusion criteria under NFSA. These five criteria have been included as per guidelines issued by Government of India to cover poor and distressed persons under Antyodaya Anna Yojana and Annapurna scheme:

(a) All Households coming under Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG) category

(b) Households without shelter (Certificate from people’s representative/any responsible officer of the concerned block/ULB)

(c) Households with destitute living on alms. (Certificate from people’s representative/any responsible officer of the concerned Block/ULB)

(d) Households with widows and other single women with no regular support

(e) Households having a person with disability (40% and above)

(f) The transgender applicant

(g) Households with old persons (aged 60 or above) with no regular support and no assured means of subsistence

(h) Households where due to old age, lack of physical or mental fitness, social customs, need to care for disable or other persons, no adult member is available to engage in gainful employment outside the house

(i) Households dependent on daily wage labour

(j) Internally displaced persons due to various projects

(k) Households having a person suffering from leprosy/HIV/any other critical diseases.

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