Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], February 8 (ANI): The Odisha government has written to the Union government seeking the release of the pending food subsidy to the state.
In the letter to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, State Food Supplies, Consumer Welfare, and Co-operation Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said requested his intervention to release the pending subsidy due to the state and release of provisional subsidy and advance subsidy.
"Odisha Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd., the nodal agency of the state procures paddy at minimum support price(MSP) from the farmers and undertakes distribution of food grains under NFSA and other welfare schemes and 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 the government of India," the letter said.
It further said that the anticipated cost is required to be released in the form of 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 and Odisha State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. (OSCSC) shall be paid quarterly provisional subsidy after deduction of the advance amount. But, the release of advance and provisional subsidy to Odisha is highly irregular," the minister said in his letter.
"Huge amount of outstanding food subsidy remains receivable from the government 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 up to 3rd Quarter and Rs. 1469.78 Crore of unpaid Advance Subsidy claim bill for 4th Quarter of this Financial Year 2022-23," the letter read.
The minister also apprised the Centre of OSCSC Ltd's tremendous financial hardship due to the delay and short release of subsidy.
"It is also to mention that as per Standing Operating Procedure(SOP) dated 16.07.2021 issued by the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), 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 the receipt of subsidy in respect of BRL rice stock. It requires your intervention for timely inspection by DFPD officials in the matter of BRL rice stocks and streamlines the process," the letter said adding that 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.
"I would request your kind intervention for the release of the pending subsidy due to the State and the release of provisional subsidy and advance subsidy claim as cited above at the earliest," the letter added.
The minister in his letter further said that since all the resources including a sanctioned limit of bank finance have already been exhausted, further paddy procurement may be severely affected if, the subsidy from the Central government is not received at the earliest. (ANI)