Naveen demands revision of mid-day meal cost

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to revise the cost norms per-child under the mid-day meal scheme in view the sharp rise in the prices of essential commodities.

In a letter written to Singh on Tuesday, Patnaik said that the per-child cost norm under the mid-day meal programme is far too meager at a time when the prices of essential commodities have increased manifold in the recent months.

“The allocation was fixed in the year 2006 when the price of Arhar Dal was around Rs.32 per kilo. Today the price of the same Dal is above Rs.70 per kilo. Price rise of such a magnitude of an essential component of the meal has severely impacted the programme,” Patnaik said.

Stating that the mid-day meal is a major meal for the students in the entire day and it is necessary to provide it in adequate quantity and without interruption, Patnaik requested the Prime Minister to revise the cost norms per child suitably upwards to achieve the basic purpose of the programme.

“An immediate decision in the matter will go a long way in removing a major bottleneck of the programme,” Patnaik added.

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