CM writes to Union Minister Paswan over delay in food subsidy release

Bhubaneswar: CM Naveen Patnaik on Friday wrote to Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ram Vilas Paswan seeking his intervention for immediate release of pending food subsidy bills amounting to Rs 3654.41 crore.

In a letter to Paswan, Patnaik said, “This year, the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd has already procured more than 40,00,000 MT of paddy and more than Rs 6,000 crore has already been transferred to the accounts of farmers. Due to procurement of such huge quantity, the Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation is almost on the verge of reaching is cash limit.”

“However, it is a matter of concern that the subsidy bills amounting Rs 3654.41 crore, which includes the advance subsidy bills up to March 2019, relating to the State of Odisha are pending with the DFPD,” said Patnaik.

“Such a huge pendency is causing shortage of funds at OSCSC, which may become a major road block for ensuring timely payment to the farmers,” said Patnaik.

The Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd, a State PSU, has been undertaking procurement of paddy since 2003-04 on behalf of the State Government. The funds for the entire procurement operations are borrowed by OSCSC from banks. Last year, the OSCSC had transferred around Rs 7,600 crore directly to the accounts of farmers, added the CM.

“In view of the urgency of the matter, I would request your intervention and necessary direction for immediate release of money, which will help in protecting the interest of the farmers,” said Patnaik.

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