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RTI reveals that Modi govt spent ₹15.6 lakh crores on subsidies for food grains since 2018, highest during Covid

The food grains were procured through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and 15 other State governments.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution has informed that the Narendra Modi-led-Central government has spent ₹15.6 lakh crores on subsidies for food grains since 2018.

The Union Ministry made the revelation in its Right to Information (RTI) reply on 5th March this year. An RTI was filed by activist Piyush Tripathi, seeking information about the cost incurred by the Centre for the distribution of wheat, rice and important food grains in the past 5 years.

In its reply, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution stated that the Modi government spent ₹1.71 lakh crores during 2018-2019 while giving subsidies totalling ₹1.52 lakh crores during 2019-2020.

Screengrab of the RTI reply

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Modi government increased its spending to procure food grains. Between 2020 and 2021, the annual spending increased to 5.41 lakh crores.

The subsidies on food grains remained at ₹2.88 lakh crores in 2021-2022 while it was about ₹2.72 lakh crores in 2022-2023. As of 31st December 2023, the Modi government spent ₹1.33 lakh crores on food grains. In total, the Centre paid ₹15.6 lakh crore in subsidies in the past 5 years.

The food grains were procured through the Food Corporation of India (FCI) as well as the Scheme of Decentralised procurement (DCT) States, namely, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab and Telangana.

In a tweet, RTI activist Piyush Tripathi wrote, “The Government of India, which works in the interest of farmers and public, purchased grains from farmers at MSP even during COVID and gave subsidy of ₹ 5 lakh crore to FCI and states during COVID. Rs 15 lakh crore has been spent in the last 5 years to distribute grains to the poor. I received this information through RTI.”

The response of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution comes at a time when one group of ‘farmers’ have been protesting in the National Capital for Minimum Support Price (MSP) on all crops, fixed daily wages, pensions and forgiveness of all farmer loans.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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