Bhubaneswar:  The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, Wednesday urged the union food and public distribution ministry to release the differential rice of 1 lakh tonnes that was required under the the National Food Security Act(NFSA).

Patnaik, in a letter to the union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, has said that during the period November 2015 and February 2017, there was difference between the Central governm’s alloction of rice and wheat and the demanded foodgrains by the beneficiaries. While there was less allocation of 99,960.154 tonnes of rice, there was excess allocation of 7,322.05 tonnes of wheat.

Stating  that the distribution of food grains to meet the food security of the poor cannot wait for rectification of the allocation order, the chief minister said that the state in  anticipation of allocation from the Central government had  distributed rice and wheat as per the options exercised by the beneficiaries.

“Since food grains have already been distributed by the state government from its own sources, it is requested that 99,960.154  tonnes of rice may be released out of Central pool and the surplus wheat allocated, which has not been utilised by the state, may be withdrawn”, said the chief minister adding, “This will help in squaring up the accounts.”