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Food Security Act to benefit Odisha, insists Ramesh

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Sep 25:

The ‘tu-tu-mein-mein’ between Union Rural Development minister Jairam Ramesh and Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Pratap Keshari Deb over Odisha’s share of food grains under the National Food Security Act continued on Wednesday with Ramesh saying that the state would get Rs 4,800 crore as subsidy under the Food Act against Rs 4, 100 crore in the present allocation.

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“After the implementation of Food Security Act, about 82% rural Odisha and 56% of urban Odisha will benefit under the scheme. The state will get Rs 4,800 crore subsidy under the scheme every year against Rs 4, 100 crore subsidy under the present system of allocation,” Ramesh said at a press conference at the Congress Bhawan here.

Insisting that his figures were based on facts, Ramesh said the Centre was not into political discrimination against Odisha as claimed by BJD-led Odisha government.

Responding to the state government’s allegations that Odisha’s share of food grains would be slashed if the Act is implemented, he said the state would receive a higher amount than the present allocation.

“The allegations of the state government are false and baseless. It is only politicization. No state will be affected due to the implementation of the Act. Odisha has been receiving an average of 20.8 lakh tonnes of food grains under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) every year since last three years. And now, the state will get 21.1 lakh tonnes per year under the Food Act,” Ramesh said.

However, talking to OST, the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Pratap Keshari Deb refuted Ramesh’s claim and said that Odisha will be a net loser after the implementation of the scheme.

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