Odisha seeks release of Rs 3654.41 crore food subsidy from Centre

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

The Chief Minister, in a letter to Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, informed 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 Odisa are pending with DFPD. Such a huge pendency is causing shortage of funds at Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation (OSCSC), which may become a major road block for ensuring timely payment to farmers,” he said.

OSCSC, which procures paddy on behalf of the government, 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 informed.

 “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.