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Home / Politics / Policy /  Food subsidy bill rises by 20% to Rs1.07 trillion in FY15

New Delhi: The food subsidy bill for the current fiscal has increased by 20% to 1.07 trillion till 9 January, compared to subsidy paid in the entire 2013-14 fiscal, the Economic Survey said.

In the 2013-14, government’s subsidy bill stood at 89,740.02 crore. The pre-budget economic document also pointed that the “food subsidy bill has increased substantially in the past few years putting severe strain on the public exchequer".

The survey stated that food subsidy has gone up as the economic cost of wheat and rice has continuously increasing, but the issue price of the food grains under the public distribution system (PDS) has been kept unchanged since 1 July 2002.

“Rationalisation of subsidies and better targeting of beneficiaries would release resources for public investment in agriculture," it added. The pre-budget economic document emphasised that agriculture and food sector needs huge investment in research, education, extension, irrigation, fertilisers, and laboratories to test soil, water and commodities, warehousing, cold-storage.

The survey opines that the focus of public expenditure for agriculture so far has been on provision of subsidies, public expenditure in agriculture is only one-fourth of expenditure towards food and fertiliser subsidies. It is time it shifted towards investments to boost productivity.

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