BALANGIR: After implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), the allotment of subsidised food grains to the district has reduced drastically. The uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month has excluded the present 35 kg allotment for BPL and AAY families
Sources said earlier the district was getting 1.22 lakh quintals of rice. But after implementation of the Act, the district is getting only 52,000 quintals. The district had 4,28,418 beneficiaries under the old public distribution system (PDS) and the number has come down to 3,23,777. So far, 2,60,210 ration cards under the subsidised food scheme have been distributed and 54,294 cards more will be handed over to the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries alleged that the new provision will not only deprive them of the age-old subsidy but would also reduce the quantity of food grains they used to get under the PDS. The cut in entitlement would result in food insecurity in the district, they added.
Protesting the reduction in ration quota, locals staged demonstrations and locked more than 60 panchayat offices recently demanding amendment to the provisions.
Meanwhile, allegations of irregularities in identification of beneficiaries are pouring in from different parts of the district.
Balangir Civil Supply Officer (CSO) S P Dora said earlier the APL families were entitled to get food grains under PDS but at present, they are not eligible to get the benefits under NFSA. However, selection of beneficiaries is going on in full swing and more beneficiaries will be added to the list, Dora added.