Panel points out funds shortage for food subsidy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 27, 2015 Published on April 27, 2015

A Parliamentary panel stated here on Monday that the Food Ministry had a shortage of Rs 81,000 crore to make subsidy payments and urged the Centre to take action.

It also expressed concern regarding non-implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) that was ratified in July 2013 but has since only been implemented in 11 States. The law, repeatedly extended for non-compliant States, aims to provide 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains per person per month at Rs 1-3/kg to two-thirds of the population.

The Committee noted that the paucity was much as Rs 54,859 crore as of April 1 and stated that the budgetary estimate was less by Rs 26,429 crore.

“The Department of Food and Public Distribution has been struggling with overall shortage of funds for food subsidy of as high as Rs 54,858.84 crore as on April 1, 2015...if the less allocation at BE 2015-16 of Rs 26,429 crore is added, the total shortage of funds to be payable to FCI and DCP states reaches to Rs 81,287.84 crore,” said the Standing Committee in its presentation.

The Committee stated that nearly Rs 73,338 crore was accounted for by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) while the rest was owed to States with decentralised procurement systems.

“The issue of gap between demand and allocation and clearance of pending arrears need to be sorted out expeditiously,” it added.

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Published on April 27, 2015
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