Centre to provide rice worth Rs.8,400 cr free of cost in Odisha: Dharmendra Pradhan

Centre to provide rice worth Rs.8,400 cr free of cost in Odisha: Dharmendra Pradhan

Bhubaneswar: The Centre will spend Rs 8,400 crore annually and provide free rice for 3.25 crore people of Odisha under food security scheme and the state government must ensure its proper distribution to the beneficiaries, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

As per a decision of the Union Cabinet, the Narendra Modi government is set to take the responsibility of providing rice free of cost to 3.25 crore of the 4.5 crore people who constitute around 85 per cent of Odisha’s population, the Union Education Minister said on Thursday.

Stating that rice provided under national food security scheme to the state earlier had some price, he said the centre was bearing 90 to 95 per cent of the cost, while the state had to take care of the rest. The state government had the responsibility to properly distribute the rice to the beneficiaries, he said.

Now, the Centre will take full charge of the cost component, while the state has to ensure proper distribution. Explaining the cost involved in the free rice programme, Dharmendra said around 1,87,475 metric tonnes of rice will be provided to 3.25 crore people of the state per month. With rice costing Rs 37.28 per kg, around Rs 700 crore will be spent per month and Rs 8,400 crore per year by the Centre in the state, the Union Minister said.

This apart, the Central government has also been assistance to strengthen the distribution system in the state, he said, adding that the Centre is helping in computerisation, modernisation and accounting systems to ensure that the benefit reaches all the beneficiaries. Thanking the Prime Minister for taking the step for the benefit of people, Dharmendra said the state government must ensure error-free distribution of rice without any irregularities.

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