Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has taken up  the  issue of non-allocation of food grains for the poor senior citizens under the Annapurna scheme with the prime minister Narendra Modi.

In Odisha 64,800 poor old people are not getting their rice quota for over last two years due to non-allocation of food grains by the Central government under the Annapurna scheme. Poor senior citizen not covered under the National Old Age Pension Scheme are eligible for 10 kg of rice per month free of cost under the Annapurna scheme.

Patnaik, in a letter to the prime minister on Tuesday, has pointed out that the state has not received the food grain for the year 2016-17 and 2017-18 from the union department of food and public distribution. Further, he has added, no funds have been received for the 2017-18 from the union ministry of rural development.

While rural development ministry, which  is the nodal agency at the Central government level, releases funds for the operation of the scheme, the union food and public  distribution department releases allotment of grains.

Patnaik has stated that the state is now meeting the entire allocation food grains out of the state pool. He added, this causes additional financial burden on the state.

The chief minister has urged the prime minister to direct the concerned ministries for early release of food grains and funds relating to previous years and also to ensure timely release of allocation in future for smooth running of the scheme.