Food Subsidy Current Affairs - 2020

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Union Cabinet approves extra supply of subsidized Food Grains to Ration Shops

On March 25, 2020, the Union Cabinet approved extra supply of food grains via rations shops. The monthly quota of subsidized food grains is to be increased from 2 kg to 7 kg. The step has been taken to help people during the lock down.

Highlights

The GoI has decided to provide 7 kg of food grains per person during the lock down. This will benefit more than 80 crore people in the country. Also, the food grains are to be provided at subsidized rates. The cost of wheat was Rs 27 per kg and is now to be sold at Rs 2 per kg. The cost of rice is about Rs 32 per kg and is to be sold at Rs 3 per kg. Currently, GoI is providing food grains at subsidized rates under National Food Security Act.

National Food Security Act

The act aims to provide nutritional security. It provides coverage up to 75% of rural population and 50% of urban population.

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Economic Survey: National Food Security Act Coverages should be reduced

The Economic Survey was tabled by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman in the Parliament on January 31, 2019. The Survey says that the subsidies under National Food Security Act (NFSA) should be sharply reduced

Highlights

The Survey suggests that the coverage of the act should be reduced to 20% of the population. On the other hand, these funds should be diverted towards incentivizing environmentally sustainable production. Also, more focus should be laid to replenish the food grain economy that has been riddled due to several economic inefficiencies.

Current Scenario of NFSA

At present, around 67% of the Indian households are entitled to 5 kilograms of subsidized wheat and rice per person per month. Over 800 million are benefitted from food subsidy scheme.

Since the NFSA was introduced in 2013, the expense of food subsidy has increased from 1.1 trillion rupees in 2014-15 to 1.7 trillion rupees in 2018-19

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