The Odisha government on Saturday asked officials to extend the free distribution of rice among 9.05 lakh people under its State Food Security Scheme for three more months.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the officials to distribute five kilograms of rice per month free of cost to beneficiaries of the scheme till December end, an official said.
Altogether 2.92 lakh families will get benefit from it, he said.
The direction came two days after the Centre extended its programme to provide free rations to the poor at Rs 44,762 crore as it looked to ease pain from high inflation.
The state government had earlier launched the SFSS for the poor people who were left out of the national food security programme. As per the chief minister’s directive, each beneficiary of the SFSS will get five kg of rice for free during the October-December period, the official said.
Altogether, 13,575 tonnes of rice will be supplied from the state pool at an expenditure of Rs 49 crore, an official statement said. The beneficiaries availed of the benefit of the state scheme for six months from April 2022.
The Centre launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana during the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute free rations. As many as 3.26 crore people from Odisha are covered under the National Food Security Act.
-With PTI Input