Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 11:
The Congress today questioned the intention of the Odisha government over the delay in the implementation of the Food Security Act, which gives the right to subsidised food grains to poor people.
Raising the issue during the zero hour in the state Assembly, the party sought a clarification from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the delay in implementing the Act in the state.
“Though there is a provision under the law that an Act passed in the Parliament needs to be implemented in states within one year, the same has not been done within the stipulated time,” said leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
Seeking reply from the chief minister or the minister concerned, Mishra said about three-fourth of the state’s population have been denied their Right to Food as the state government did not implement the Act within the stipulated one year’s time.
Stating that the central government would supply food graisn to be distributed among the poor and deserving people, he said the state government had nothing to lose if it implements the Act.
Mishra also came down heavily on the state government after the Rangarajan Committee stated that the state has about 195-lakh poor people.
The state government has reasoned that the one-year delay in the Act’s implementation was due to the general elections and the provision of deletion of the beneficiaries and has requested the Centre to extend the time-limit by six months.
The landmark Food Security Bill, which gives the right to subsidised grains to two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion population numbering around 800 million, is the largest such scheme anywhere in the world. It had received parliamentary approval in September last year.
Under the legislation, beneficiaries would get five kg of grain per person per month which would include rice at Rs.3 per kg, wheat at Rs.2 per kg and coarse grains at Re 1 per kg.