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Odisha extends free rice scheme for 6 more months

On the occasion of Utkal Dibasa, the Odisha government has extended the distribution of free rice to the beneficiaries covered under its own State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) for six more months.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed concerned officials to extend the distribution of an additional 5 kg of rice per month free of cost to beneficiaries of the SFSS from April 2022, Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a statement on Friday.

Earlier, the benefit of 5 kg of free rice was extended for the beneficiaries of the SFSS from December 2021 to March 2022.

About 8.09 lakh beneficiaries covered under the scheme will be benefited from this move.

For this purpose, the state government will distribute 24,270 tonnes of rice from the State pool with an expenditure of Rs 91.70 crore from its own fund, it said.

This will facilitate beneficiaries enrolled in the SFSS to remain at par with beneficiaries under National Food Security Act (NFSA), the CMO said.

Notably, the Union government has recently extended the free foodgrains distribution scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for six more months from March 2022.

Under the PMGKAY, the Centre gives an additional five kg of rice or wheat per month to beneficiaries of the (NFSA) over and above their usual monthly quota for free.

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