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Patnaik writes to Centre for rice allocation, reimbursement

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Centre to dole out 99,960 MT rice to compensate for the “shortfall in allocation” of the grain and sought reimbursement of the funds his government had to pay due to delay in release of procurement subsidy.

In two separate letters to Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Patnaik gave details of the rice deficit and the expenditure it bore for the holdup in release of the procurement subsidy between fiscal 2011 and 2017.

Stating that the Centres allocation of food grains was different from the demands made by the beneficiaries between November 2015 and February 2018, he said the state faced a shortfall of 99,960.154 MT of rice and had 7,322.05 MT of wheat in excess.

The calculation for distribution of rice and wheat, under National Food Security Act (NFSA), is done keeping the demands of the beneficiaries in mind.

Noting that the distribution of foodgrains cannot wait for rectification of the allocation order, Patnaik said, the state government had distributed the required quantity of rice and wheat on its own.

“Since food grains have already been distributed, it is requested that 99,960.154 MT of rice may be released out of Central poll and the surplus wheat allocated, which has not been utilised, may be withdrawn,” he said.

In a separate letter to Paswan, the chief minister said the Centre is supposed to release subsidy in advance on a quarterly basis for decentralised procurement of rice, but there has been an inordinate delay in case of Odisha.

“The OSCSC (Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation) has paid additional interest of more than Rs 802 crore from 2011-12 to 2016-17 due to delay in release of subsidy from the government of India,” he said.

Patnaik also said the reimbursement was necessary to maintain “sound financial health of states PSUs”.

“Under the circumstances, I request that the state procuring agency may be allowed reimbursement towards the additional interest incurred by them due to delay in release of subsidy by the government of India.

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