On Friday, the food ministry informed that the government will release nearly Rs 3 lakh crores more food subsidy in the remaining two months of the current fiscal as it looks to clear all previous backlogs.
The food ministry also informed that states such as Punjab and Haryana will compulsorily have to use electronic modes to pay crop price (MSP) to its farmers.
The ministry further stated that while the usage of electronic modes to transfer the minimum support price (MSP) to the farmers is to check diversion and avoid delays, the new system would not end the current practice of crop procurement through mandis and middle-men called Arthiyas.
Food grains are sold by the government at huge subsidy under the Nation Food Security Act (NFSA) and other welfare schemes.
The Centre, under the food law, provides 5kg of wheat and rice per month per person to over 80 crore people at Rs 2-3 per kg.
Food subsidy rose sharply to Rs 4,22,618.14 crore in the revised estimate of 2021-22 fiscal from Rs 1,15,569.68 crore in the Budget estimate, according to the recent budget paper, as the centre distributed additional food grains for free during COVID-19.
Food subsidy is estimated at Rs 2,42,836 crore for the next fiscal year.