Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 8:
A day after Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma announced at the conference of state food and consumer affairs ministers at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday that the state will implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA) by September 30 as fixed by the Centre, departmental secretary Madhusudan Padhi today made amends to it by announcing here that it will be implemented in the state from October 1.
A total of 1.04 crore families, comprising 3.93 crore people, have registered under NFSA in the state, informed Padhi.
A list of eligible beneficiaries under the scheme in the state will be published on August 1, Padhi said speaking to reporters.
Before publishing the list of eligible beneficiaries, the state government will prepare a database of genuine beneficiaries by weeding out ineligible families who have got themselves registered online ignoring the eight exclusion criteria fixed for the purpose.
At the conference of state food and consumer affairs ministers at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Tuesday, Minister Sanjay Dasburma had said that the state government had initiated the process for identification of the priority households on the basis of eight exclusion and five auto-inclusion criteria. The identification process of eligible households was in the final stage.
It is worthwhile to mention here that the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department was forced to write letters to the collectors of the concerned districts in mid June after it emerged that 107% of the population in Nuapada and 105% of the population in Kendrapara (as per Census 2011 data) had applied to be registered under the Act.
Besides these two districts, the number of prospective beneficiaries under the NFSA has gone beyond the recorded population in 76 blocks and two municipal areas.
The Central government’s guidelines direct state governments to register a maximum of 82% of the population in rural areas and 56% of the population in urban areas as beneficiaries under the NFSA on the basis of the 2011 Census.
In order to make people aware about the eligibility criteria under the NFSA, district collectors were directed to put up wall painting in villages. Ineligible families were asked to withdraw their applications by June 30.
Since several government employees have registered themselves under NFSA, the department had asked them to furnish affidavits that they come under the eligible family criteria. The department had warned of criminal proceedings against ineligible applicants if they fail to withdraw their applications before June 30.
With less than a month left to go for August 1, the date for publication of list of eligible beneficiaries, it will be a herculean task for the state government to bring out a corrected list of genuine beneficiaries within the period, feel observers.