'Give it Up' campaign: After LPG, Centre targets food subsidy
The food ministry reportedly wants fair price shops to display "real cost of the subsidy" for wheat and rice, to encourage those who can do without the sop to give it up.
Now 'Give It Up' campaign targets food subsidies
Centre spends over Rs. 25 per kilo of rice
Currently, beneficiaries under the National Food Subsidy Act (NFSA) are entitled to 5 kilos of rice, wheat or coarse grains at Rs. 3, Rs. 2 and Rs. 1 per kg. The Centre spends Rs. 21.09/kg and Rs. 29.64/kg as subsidy on wheat and rice respectively.
Steps taken to curb diversion of subsidies
The food subsidy budget increased 61% in the current fiscal, up from Rs. 89,740cr in 2013-14 to Rs. 1.45L crore.
To curb diversion of subsidized food, the Centre seeded Aadhaar cards of 23 crore ration card holders and installed electronic point of sale machines at fair price shops.
Till now, 78% of ration cards have been seeded and E-PoS machines fitted at 36% shops.
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Can the LPG success be recreated in food?
According to sources, implementation of the 'Give It Up' programme will be much more difficult under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). While the LPG subsidy was availed by 19 crore households, as many as 82 crore people are covered under the NFSA.