Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has set the annual food subsidy bill for 2010-11 at Rs 55,578.18 crore even as the government finalises ways and means to announce the promised Rs 3 per kg of foodgrain scheme to all families living below poverty line (BPL).
“We are now ready with the draft Food Security Bill which will be placed in the public domain very soon,” Mukherjee had said during his budget speech.
Food Subsidy is provided in the budget of food and public distribution department to meet the difference between the cost of procurement of wheat and paddy from farmers and selling it at a lower price through fair price shops.
At present, the Centre provides 35 kg of rice or wheat per month to each BPL family. Wheat is supplied at Rs 4.15 per kg while rice at Rs 5.65 a kg to over 6.85 crore families living below the poverty line.
Of these, about 2.43 crore families are provided 35 kg of rice or wheat per month at a price of Rs 3 and Rs 2 per kg under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana Scheme that was launched in 2000.
The present monthly allocation of food grains under AAY is around 8.50 lakh tonnes per month.