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New Delhi, Feb. 27

Though the food subsidy bill is expected to grow in absolute terms in 2005-06, the annual rate of growth would hit a low of 1.55 per cent after a ten-year gap. It is expected to be at Rs 26,200 crore (budget estimates), against Rs 25,800 crore (as per revised estimates) in 2004-05.

On an annual basis, the food subsidy bill had gone up by 2.54 per cent in 2004-05 (over Rs 25,160 crore in 2003-04), 4.07 per cent in 2003-04 (over Rs 24,176 crore in 2002-03), 38.16 per cent in 2002-03 (over Rs 17,499 crore in 2001-02), 45.1 per cent in 2001-02 (over Rs 12,060 crore in 2000-01), 27.84 per cent in 2000-01 (over Rs 9,434 crore in 1999-00), 3.67 per cent in 1999-00 (over Rs 9,100 crore in 1998-99), 15.19 per cent in 1998-99 (over Rs 7,900 crore in 1997-98), 30.23 per cent in 1997-98 (over Rs 6,066 crore in 1996-97), 12.81 per cent in 1996-97 (over Rs 5,377 crore in 1995-96) and 5.43 per cent in 1995-96 (over Rs 5,100 crore in 1994-95). The food subsidy calculations exclude those on sugar for all the years.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 28, 2006)
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