New Delhi, Feb 25: Food Ministry is seeking a 12.52 per cent increase in food subsidy for the next fiscal at about Rs 1.40 lakh crore mainly to implement the food law, which is likely to be rolled out in nearly all the states from April.
In last year's Budget, the government had earmarked Rs 1,24,419 crore for food subsidy for the current fiscal. Out of this, nearly Rs 65,000 crore was for implementation of National Food Security Act (NFSA).
According to sources, the Food Ministry has demanded about Rs 1.40 lakh crore for the food subsidy in the upcoming budget for the next financial year.While the overall demand of Union Food and Consumer Affairs Ministry is about Rs 1.82 lakh crore, source added.
The National Food Security Law will be implemented in all states and Union Territories, barring Tamil Nadu, by April this year, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan had said.
Till now, 25 states and UTs have rolled out the law while 11 are in the process of doing so. The law was passed by Parliament in 2013 and state governments were given one year to implement it.
Since then, the deadline has been extended thrice till September. The food law provides legal entitlement to 5 kg of subsidised foodgrains per person every month at Rs 1-3 kg to two-thirds of India's population.
The government is also aiming for digitisation of ration cards as one of the important components for making Public Distribution System leak proof and has digitised 97 per cent of total 24.99 crore ration cards across the country and soon 100 per cent will be digitised.