Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 6:
Odisha government today relaxed the norms under National Food Security Act (NFSA) to avail subsidised foodgrains under the scheme.
Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Kumar Das Burma today announced a slew of changes for the applicants seeking ration card under NFSA.
“The criterion for applicants owning three room pucca houses has been relaxed. People having three room houses under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) are eligible to apply for the ration cards,” Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma informed at a press conference here today.
Besides, the Minister announced that the eligible beneficiaries who are yet to receive their ration card will get it in a month. This apart, the applicants whose applications have been rejected earlier and left out people can apply for the same.
Similarly, the deadline for surrendering the ration cards obtained by ineligible beneficiaries has been extended to September 30. The card holders will be exempted from repaying the money and no criminal action would be initiated against them if they return their cards within the stipulated time, Das Burma added.
Notably, there have been widespread protests across the state over levying of financial penalty and slapping of criminal cases beneficiaries availing the cards fraudulently.
“Those who have paid penalties will get their refund and criminal cases would be withdrawn against the ineligible beneficiaries,” he stated.
Earlier, the state government had appealed to the ineligible beneficiaries to surrender their ration cards by August 15.
In the backdrop of the development, the BJP today withdrew its proposed Rourkela bandh on August 11 over discrepancies in ration card distribution.
“Government has conceded to most of our demands over the distribution of ration cards,” Rourkela MLA Dilip Ray said.