MPs led by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also demanded that an inquiry be conducted into the allegations at the earliest. Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, former Union Minister Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Kalabandi Basant Panda, Sambalpur MP Nitish Gangdeb and Bolangir MP Sangeeta Singh Deo were in the team.
According to the team, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the PMGKAY to provide additional food security support to poor people in the country during the Covid pandemic. The Centre provided 12.94 lakh metric tonne food grains to Odisha for free distribution to 92.77 lakh cardholders comprising 3.24 beneficiaries in April-November 2020 under the PMGKAY. Besides, the Centre had also provided 27,853.89 metric tonne dal and channa for free distribution during the same period.
The Centre has allocated 11.35 lakh metric tonne food grains to Odisha during May-November 2020-21. Of this, 6.22 lakh metric tonne has been lifted by the Odisha Government so far. However, it is disappointing that 15 districts such as Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khordha, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Jharsuguda, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Baargarh, Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam and Sundargarh districts have lifted less than 10 per cent of their quota. Most of these districts are backward and tribal-dominated, the team told the Minister.
Under the PMGKAY, 87.39 lakh of total 92.83 lakh NFSA cardholders were distributed free food grains in May 2021 and the rest 5.43 lakh cardholders were not given food grains in Odisha. Similarly in June 2021, 88.23 lakh of 92.77 lakh NFSA cardholders were given free food grains and the rest 4.54 were deprived of the Central support.
“It is disappointing that poor people have been deprived of food grains already provided to Odisha by the Narendra Modi Government,” lamented the team.
The team also apprised that 4.07 lakh NFSA cardholders and 4.04 lakh NFSA cardholders didn’t get food grains in May and June, respectively, in Odisha.