Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, has demanded that the Centre should release the outstanding food subsidy amount of Rs 3468 crore along with the interest incurred due to delay in payment.

Patnaik, in a letter to the union consumer affairs, food and public distribution, Ram Vilash Paswan, has stated that the Odisha government owned State Civil Supply Corporation, which is the major food procurement agency in the State, is facing liquidity crunch due to non-payment of subsidy amount of Rs 3468 crore by the Centre. According to him, the Centre owes Rs 2123 crore provisional subsidy by accumulation from the financial year 2017-18 and the advance subsidy as due to the State for the quarter ending September 30, 2019 is Rs 1345 crore to the Corporation. Pointing out that the delay in release of funds has resulted in increased bank borrowing and interest burden on the State Corporation, he has urged the union minister to bear the interest burden too.

Odisha, a Decentralised Procurement State (DPS) since 2003-04, procure paddy for the Centre. It meets it requirement under the Targeted Public Distribution System (PDS) and other welfare progammes as per the allocation by the government of India and contribute the balance to the Central Pool. The government of India bears the entire cost of procurement, storage and distribution of the food grain incurred by the procuring agency in case of DPS.