The Odisha government on Friday, December 15, 2023, announced that the State Food Security Scheme (SFSS) will be extended by five more years till December 31, 2028. The proposal was approved by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The beneficiaries were entitled to get 5 kg of rice free of cost till December 31, 2023.
An official statement issued by the CMO said the government will spend Rs. 1,250 crore from its own resources in five years at the rate of Rs. 250 crore per year. A total of 9,97,055 people from 3,14,923 families in the State are covered under the scheme.
Setting the tone for the 2024 general election, Mr. Patnaik called upon the party rank and file to effectively counter the “misinformation campaign” by Opposition parties as they do not have any issue to target the government.
“The transformation of Odisha has come as a big shock for the Opposition parties and they don’t have any issue to raise against the government. They, therefore, take the shelter of lies and launch a misinformation campaign against the government,” he said.
‘Won’t contest polls’
Meanwhile, putting all speculation to rest, V.K. Pandian, a close aide of Mr. Patnaik, told the BJD that he would not contest the Lok Sabha election or the Assembly election next year. After Mr. Pandian joined the BJD in November, there were rumours that the former IAS officer would contest elections.
“At the BJD’s State executive body meeting, Mr. Pandian himself had clarified that he would not be fighting any election,” senior BJD leader Debi Prasad Mishra said.
(With inputs from The Hindu Bureau in Bhubaneswar)