Bhubaneswar, Mar 20 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today drew the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the lack of food grain allocation to beneficiaries of Annapurna Scheme in the state for the past two years and sought his intervention into the matter.

It is a matter of concern that for 2016-17 and 2017-18 no allocation of food grains has been received by the state from the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Patnaik said. “No funds have been received from the Ministry of Rural Development for the year 2017-18.

“I would, therefore, request you to kindly issue instructions to the concerned ministry for early release of food grains and funds relating to the previous years and also ensure timely release of allocation in future for smooth running of the scheme,” Patnaik wrote to the Prime Minister.

He said the state continues to meet the entire allocation of food grains out of the state pool, which is causing additional financial burden on the state in order to avoid inconvenience to the eligible old people and to ensure that their food security is taken care of.

Under the ‘Annapurna’ ‘scheme, 10 kg of rice is provided free of cost to senior citizens who though eligible, but have not been covered under the National Old Age Pension Scheme, Patnaik said.

In Odisha 64,800 old people are covered under Annapurna Scheme, the chief minister mentioned in the letter.

The ministry of rural development is the nodal ministry and it releases the funds for operation of the scheme and department of food and public distribution, ministry of consumer affairs, releases allotment of food grains.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.