Bhubaneswar, Aug 8:
The Odisha government on Monday decided to relax the norms for issuance of ration cards under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved the coverage under the food security scheme of beneficiaries under Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY).
“As per the amendments, beneficiaries who have been covered under IAY, BPGY and PMAY have been exempted from the exclusion criteria under NFSA so that they can be included as NFSA beneficiaries,” said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.
The government also offered a general amnesty up to September 30 for ineligible beneficiaries, who have been removed from the NFSA list, to surrender their cards.
“For such surrender of cards within this stipulated time, the cost of food grains at the open market shall not be recovered from them nor shall any criminal proceedings be initiated,” said Padhi.
The cabinet also approved Kalinga Sikhya Sathi Yojana, a scheme to provide educational loan at 1 per cent interest for higher studies.
According to the scheme, the students having family income less than Rs 6 lakh per annum can get educational loan at 1 per cent interest to study in India. They can get loan up to Rs 10 lakh from banks.
The cabinet also approved a proposal to amend Odisha Official Language Act, 1954.
It also approved an amendment to Odisha Gram Panchayats Act, 1964. (IANS)