The Odisha government will launch its own State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) from Gandhi Jayanti on October 2.
Over 18 lakh poor and eligible people left out under National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA) will receive their quota of 5 kg of rice at the rate of Rupee 1 per kg.
Official sources said as per the updated data till September 30, a total of 18.32 lakh people are listed in the scheme to avail the cheap rice from Tuesday while remaining 6.68 lakh will be added in the list by October 10.
The state had earlier decided to provide cheap rice to a total of 25 lakh beneficiaries of 6.70 lakh families.
The state government decided to launch its own food security scheme after the Centre did not respond to Odisha government’s request to add additional 25 lakh poor people under the NFSA, they said.
The state government maintained that the number of eligible families has increased during last five years.
A total of 3,26,41,800 beneficiaries were included in the NFSA as per the 2011 census. The government also claimed that the state’s population has been increased over eight years.
According to a review by Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister S N Patro, over 73 per cent of the target for SFSS has been achieved by September 30 and rest will be covered by the second week of October.
The state government on October 2, 2008 had launched the cheap rice scheme in Odisha where beneficiaries were given rice at the rate of Rs 2 per kg. Later in 2013, the price of cheap rice was reduced to Rupee 1 a kg for people living below poverty line.
And now an additional 25 lakh beneficiaries will be provided with cheap rice under the SFSS, an official said.