India's food subsidy bill to touch Rs92,493 crore this fiscal

The government would have to spend Rs92,493 crore on food subsidies this financial year (2012-13) against the budgeted expenditure of Rs74,551.99 crore.

The rise in food subsidy is mainly attributable to increase in economic cost of foodgrains on account of increase in minimum support price (MSP), whereas the central issue prices (CIPs) of subsidised foodgrains have remained unchanged since 2002.

The rise in MSPs may have marginal impact on inflation as the wholesale prices of wheat and rice are related to their MSP, minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution system KV Thomas informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The MSP for foodgrains is so determined as to give a remunerative price to the farmer for his produce. This is one of the steps besides the various schemes for increasing production and productivity of foodgrains, the minister said.

The National Food Security Mission was launched in the year 2007-08 to increase production of foodgrains through area expansion and productivity enhancement; restoring soil fertility and productivity; creating employment opportunities; and enhancing farm level economy. In order to increase the productivity of rice in the seven states of eastern India, a programme of Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI) was launched in the year 2010-11, he said.