Free Press Journal

Major chunk of food subsidy borne by Centre, not states: Paswan


Ram Vilas Paswan

New Delhi: Taking a swipe at some states for blaming the Centre for not doing enough to curb price rise, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today said such claims were wrong as major chunk of food subsidy was borne by the Centre.

Under the National Food Security Act, the government supplies foodgrains at highly subsidised rates Rs 1-3 per kilogram. In some states like Tamil Nadu, foodgrain is further subsidised for distribution to the poor.

“The problem is that state governments try to say that central government is not giving anything and everything is given only by the state government,” Paswan said in the Lok Sabha.

In response to queries on the food security programme by an AIADMK member, he said in Tamil Nadu, rice and wheat are given for free but it is wrong to say that the entire food subsidy is borne by the state government.

“If an item (food grain) is procured for Rs 30 (per kg), then out of that Rs 27 is borne by the central government and the remaining Rs 3 is given by beneficiary,” Paswan said during Question Hour.

Paswan was responding to queries from AIADMK member R P Marutharajaa, who said the state government has made various efforts to reduce the ill effects of price rise on the poor.

So far, 30 states and union territories have rolled out the food law. Gujarat is expected to implement it from next month while the remaining five are in advanced stage of preparation.