Although the National Food Security Bill is still pending in the Parliament, the Centre has intimated to certain States that their food grain allocation would decline in spite of the mandatory 75 % rural and 50 % urban populations being covered under the proposed new law.
As per the new privilege, 17 States and UTs will gain and 18 will stand to lose slightly. Amongst the 18 States which would lose food grain allocation are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Delhi, Uttarakhand and some north-eastern States.
The government intends to protect the current allocation for each State but the major concern is over the cost at which the Food Ministry will make additional grains available.
The Food Subsidy Bill is estimated at Rs. 1.24 lakh crore but the Centre is not willing to give States the additional food grains at the same subsidized rates. The Food Ministry is moving a proposal in Cabinet for provision of additional grains at the minimum support price given to farmers for wheat and paddy.
The Central issue price under the Food Security Bill for rice will be Rs. 3 per kg, for wheat Rs 2 per kg and for coarse cereals Re. 1 per kg.