On Friday, the government of Odisha extended the distribution of free rice to beneficiaries covered by the state-run Food Security Scheme (SFSS) for six months.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the occasion of Utkal Dibasa 2022 made the major announcement while ordering officials to extend the free distribution of an additional 5kg of rice per month to SFSS beneficiaries from 1st April.
About 8.09 lakh of beneficiaries covered by the scheme will benefit from the decision, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement on Friday.
The state government will distribute 24,270 tons of rice from the state pool with an expenditure of Rs 91.70 crore from its own fund, according to the statement.
This will allow SFSS-registered beneficiaries to remain at the same level as beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
Notably, the Union government has recently extended the free food grain distribution scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for another six months from March 2022.
Under the PMGKAY, the Center gives an additional five kg of rice or wheat per month free of charge to (NFSA) beneficiaries on top of their usual monthly quota.
Previously, the benefit of 5 kg of free rice was extended for SFSS beneficiaries from December 2021 to March 2022.
(With contributions from the agency)