A top official said on Thursday that the food subsidy is likely to be less than Rs 4 lakh crore in the current financial year as compared to Rs 5.29 lakh crore in 2020-21.
Food secretary Sudhanshu Pandey told media persons that the government is expecting a food subsidy of less than Rs 4 lakh crore this year, along with around Rs 2.25 lakh crore for the purchase and distribution of food grains under the National Food Security Act (NFSA). Food subsidy of Rs. He said that an additional Rs 1.47 lakh crore has been spent for implementing the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY).
The government provides highly subsidized food grains at the rate of Rs 1-3 per kg to over 81 crore people through the Public Distribution System (PDS) under the NFSA.
In addition, the government is also supplying free food grains to NFSA beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) during the pandemic. This scheme has been extended several times and is now valid till March 2022.
Mr Pandey also said that the year 2021 was “an extraordinary year” for several reasons as the government made extraordinary efforts which were unprecedented in nature amid the pandemic circumstances.
One is that the state-owned FCI has made major changes and this year the ethanol blending program has also increased by 62 per cent. He said the blending of ethanol with petrol increased from 5 per cent to 8.1 per cent in a year, which is the highest ever.
Under the “One Nation, One Ration Card” (ONORC), over 50 crore portable transactions have taken place, which subsidized over Rs 33,000 crore through food grains.