Under the relaxed norms, those who constructed houses with three or more rooms under R&R projects can also avail the benefits of the scheme
The FS&CW secretary directed the Collectors not to engage panchayat level officials for field verification of applicants
Only block and ULB level extension officers can be deployed for the verification work
Bhubaneswar: In an attempt to include a larger section of the poor under its own food security scheme, the state government has slightly relaxed the criteria allowing those affected by rehabilitation and reconstruction projects under the scheme.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare (FS&CW) Secretary, VV Yadav, has recently written to the district Collectors in this regard. The government has revised the 9th exclusion criteria, official sources said here Wednesday.
Earlier, the state government has mentioned that persons who have constructed houses with three or more rooms under rural housing schemes—Indira Awas Yojana (IAY), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Biju Pucca Ghar Yojana (BPGY) and Nirman Shramik Pucca Ghar Yojana – were eligible for the food scheme.
Now, under the relaxed norms, those who constructed houses with three or more rooms under rehabilitation and reconstruction (R&R) projects of the government can also avail the benefits of the scheme.
The secretary directed the district magistrates (DMs) not to engage panchayat level officials for field verification of applicants for the scheme. The government has noticed that the gram panchayat extension officers and gram rojgar sevaks are being engaged by some blocks for field verification of the applications. Fearing that the field level functionaries may commit irregularities in selection of the beneficiaries, the government has instructed not to engage them for the verification of applications, the source said.
In his letter, Yadav said only block and urban local body (ULB) level extension officers can be deployed for the verification work.
“In order to have stringent field verification to include only the poor, distressed and eligible persons, officials of the state food security scheme, senior officers of the district shall be assigned with duties to randomly check the verification reports of the block extension officers and ULB officers,” he wrote to the collectors.
In case of any deviation found in the verification report, the secretary directed the Collectors to take strong action against the officers concerned and submit a report.
Besides, the government has also asked the officials to collect Aadhaar numbers of all the members if the family is filling applications for ration card under the scheme.
Recently, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the food security scheme for the poor and distressed as all those have not been brought under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) due to the ceiling fixed by the Centre. The scheme will be implemented from October 2, under which, an eligible person will get 5 kg of rice per month for one rupee per kg.