Odisha government will implement the National Food Security Act (NFSA)-2013 from November covering 14 out of 30 districts in the first phase.
The food security programme will be rolled out in the balance 16 districts in December. It may be noted that 3.26 crore beneficiaries, accounting for 78% of the state's population, will be eligible to avail the subsidised food grains under the scheme.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today distributed the new digitised ration cards to beneficiaries at Bhubaneswar. In the first phase , as many as 93.35 lakh beneficiaries belonging to 26.33 lakh families were distributed the ration cards covering 14 districts across the state while 51 lakh families will be given the cards from October 26 in the balance districts, said Sanjay Das Burma, minister for Food Supply and Consumer Welfare department.
The districts to be covered in the first phase of card distribution are Sambalpur, Bargarh, Nuapada, Jharsuguda, Deogarh, Sonepur, Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh and Anugul.
The ration cards are bar-coded to avoid duplication. The state government will run Ration Card Data Based Management System in all the blocks and urban local bodies for helping the beneficiaries, said Burma.
The state government is planning to provide food grains through PoS (point of sales) machines at all the fair price shops.
"We are committed to provide one rupee kilo rice to about 3.26 crore beneficiaries of the state as before. The students residing at the SC and ST hostels will be covered under the welfare scheme for which the state government will bear funds from its own coffers", he added.
Under the NFSA, which came into force on July 5, 2013 during the tenure of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, each eligible person would get five kg of food grain a month - rice at Rs 3 per kg, wheat at Rs 2 per kg and coarse cereals at Re 1 per kg. The scheme is being implemented by the state governments.