Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 15:
Expediting the process for implementation of National Food Security Act, the Odisha government has given its nod to eight exclusion criteria for identification of beneficiaries to avail food grains.
The eight exclusion criteria covers monthly income, income tax payee, persons having four wheelers or 2 nos of three wheelers, business with TIN number, electric consumption above 300 units, any state Government or Central Government employee, persons having tractors, power-tillers, fishing boats or other heavy vehicles, persons having entrepreneurship, professional tax payees etc.
Based on the criteria, the government has decided to delete all bogus ration card holders and APLs counted as BPLs due to erroneous registrations to facilitate streamlining of the process for implementation of the Act in the state.
According to government sources, the eight exclusion criteria have been fixed on the basis of socio-economic status schedule prepared by Panchayatiraj Department. The criteria have been fixed by the taskforce committee chaired by ACS-cum-Development Commissioner. Four taskforce meetings and a consultative workshop yielded the consensus of applying eight exclusion criteria.
Mapping with the national Population Register and applying the eight exclusion criteria, the final beneficiary list will be prepared, sources added.
In urban areas, beggars, rag-pickers, domestic workers, street vendors, construction workers, home-based workers, rickshaw pullers, among others will be included simultaneously in the process.
Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) and persons having 40% or above disability will also be included, informed a senior officer of FS & CW Department.
However, the provisions for SC/ST boarders, fishermen families and differently abled person schemes will not be covered under the Act. The State Government will have to shoulder the responsibility of offering the subsidy amount for these categories, said the officer.
Under the Food Security Act, state governments need to draw their own parameters to identify the beneficiaries. The Act, which made food a legal right, got Presidential assent in September 2013, and gave one year to the states for its implementation.
It may be noted here that it was the Congress which had raised the issue in the state Assembly and criticised the state government for not implementing the Act till today.