Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has urged the Centre to release the pending food subsidy to the state for smooth management of paddy procurement operations.
Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Minister for Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare, Co-operation, Odisha in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, has sought his intervention and early action for the release of the pending subsidy due to the State and release of provisional subsidy & advance subsidy claim as cited above at the earliest.
Through the letter, the Odisha Minister apprised the Union Minister that the release of advance and provisional subsidies to Odisha is highly irregular.
“The Odisha Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd (OSCSC Ltd), is the nodal agency of the State that procures paddy at Minimum Support Price(MSP) from the farmers and undertakes distribution of food grains under NFSA and other Welfare Schemes. As per MoU, there has to be zero financial liability on the procuring agencies with regard to permissible items of cost to be borne by Govt. of India. The anticipated cost is required to be released in the form of an advance subsidy at the rate of 90% of admissible claims on a quantity basis in the first month of every quarter. Further, the State Government/ OSCSC shall be paid quarterly provisional subsidy after deduction of the advance amount,” the letter reads.
“Huge amount of outstanding food subsidy remains receivable from the Govt. of India totalling to Rs. 14,249.07 Crore as per the statement enclosed. It includes Rs. 5,027.36 Crore of Provisional Subsidy claim upto 3rd Quarter and Rs. 1469.78 Crore of unpaid Advance Subsidy claim bill for 4th Quarter of this Financial Year 2022-23,” the Odisha Minister pointed out.
Further, Nayak mentioned that as per the Standing Operating Procedure(SOP) dated 16.07.2021 issued by DFPD, Gol in respect of BRL rice stock, there are provisions for replacement of stock by rice miller followed by certification by the Joint team which is to be completed within Six(06) weeks. The certificate of replacement is a mandatory document for the release of subsidy to the State.
“But abnormal delay is being done for inspection by DFPD officials which causes hindrance for receipt of subsidy in respect of BRL rice stock,” Nayak said further seeking the Union Minister’s intervention for timely inspection by DFPD officials in the matter of BRL rice stocks and streamline the process.
“The delay and short release of subsidy has put OSCSC Ltd. in tremendous financial hardship on two accounts, firstly due to non-recoupment of interest and liquidity crunch to manage the procurement operations. Since all the resources including the sanctioned limit of bank finance have already been exhausted, further paddy procurement may be severely affected if, the subsidy from GoI is not received at the earliest,” Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak concluded with a request to Union Minister Piyush Goyal for early action in the said matters.
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