The Odisha government has come up with a host of parameters to prepare an exclusion criteria that will separate high income group from the targeted beneficiary of the food security scheme, which will be implemented in the state by July this year.
To implement the central government-sponsored scheme, it has constituted a task force under the chairmanship of the development commissioner. The task force plans to identify priority households through a process of exclusion based on different surveys including Socio-Economic Caste Census 2011.
According to the public announcement placed on the website of the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department, owners of motor vehicles (including two and three wheelers), registered fishing boats and agricultural equipment such as tractors will be excluded from the list of beneficiaries. Besides, families with any member having monthly income above Rs 10,000, pensioners with monthly payment of Rs 10,000, any member paying income tax or professional tax will not be eligible, said a notice of the department.
Families with a landline telephone connection and electricity connection with 2Kw or more with usage crossing 300 units a month will also not get benefits under the Food Security Act. The exclusion criteria mentions that any family which has a member as Union government employee or serving with the state government, public sector or autonomous institutions aided by government and the municipality, will not be entitled for the cheap food supply scheme.
The state government is currently in talks with income tax department under the finance ministry for sharing of the payee details of the state. It plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Income Tax department for the data sharing.
“We need the database of all income tax payees of Odisha for taking a decision to exclude some of the high income groups from the ambit of the NFSA (National Food Security Act). I request you to share the MoU template with us which is required to be signed for sharing data of all income tax payees (F Y 2011-12 & 2012-13) of Odisha,” said Madhu Sudan Padhi, state Information and Technology department secretary in a letter to the Director General of Income Tax.
The National Food Security Act aims to provide subsidised foodgrain to 75 per cent people in rural areas and 50 per cent people in urban areas of the country.