In a letter to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has requested to allot more rice instead of wheat under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) as majority of people of the state prefer rice as their staple diet.
"I request you to kindly intervene in the matter so that the state gets the food grain as per its requisition based on beneficiaries’ choice," Patnaik wrote in the letter.
Patnaik in his letter sought the PM’s intervention after the state’s request for more rice was not responded by the concerned ministry, officials said.
Patnaik said Odisha has successfully implemented NFSA, 2013 in the state from November last year and so far, 80.05 lakh families covering 298.5 lakh individuals have been enrolled as priority household (PHH) and Antordoya Anna Yojana (AAY) beneficiaries under the Act.
The beneficiaries’ data has been placed in public domain and the Centre has been requested for release of 3.20 lakh MT rice and 52.9 thousand MT wheat for the allotment months of November 2015 to January, 2016, he said.
"But, the Centre has so far released 2.92 lakh MT rice and 78.4 thousand MT wheat against the above requirement of food grains under the NFSA. This has resulted in a shortfall of 27.9 thousand MT rice and a surplus of 25.5 thousand MT wheat," the Patnaik said in the letter.
"Failure to supply food grain as per choice of the NFSA beneficiaries will be against the spirit of the Act, Patnaik added.