Govt will not reduce food, fertiliser subsidy

Govt will not reduce food, fertiliser subsidy

The government will not reduce subsidy on food items, fertilisers and development schemes in the current financial year starting April from what was paid in 2013-14, Minister of State for Finance Nirmala Sitharaman said.

“The government does not plan to cut subsidies given in schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and National Food Security Act,” the minister said in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. The Budget for 2014-15 has allocated Rs 2.60 lakh crore for overall subsidy, compared with Rs 2.55 lakh crore estimate for 2013-14.

The revised estimate for 2013-14 was higher than the estimated subsidy expenditure of Rs 2.31 lakh crore in the year.

The Budget for 2014-15 kept allocation for food subsidy the same as that in the Interim Budget at Rs 1.15 lakh crore, as against the revised estimate of Rs 92,000 crore for the previous financial year.

This amount includes expenditure on the National Food Security Act, which was passed in July last year. The Budget made no changes to major subsidies, barring a hike in the dole for fertilisers in the current financial year.

Fertiliser subsidy for 2014-15 is pegged at close to Rs 73,000 crore, 7.4 per cent more than the year’s Interim Budget estimate of close to Rs 68,000 crore.
The minister also said that there was no proposal at present to publish a white paper on government finances.

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