The government owed Rs 61,000 crore to the state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) as food subsidy at the end of the last fiscal due to lower provisioning of funds in the Budget.
“The outstanding arrear of food subsidy in case of the FCI as on March 31, 2016, was about Rs 61,000 crore,” Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said in a written reply to Lok Sabha today.
“Generally, there is no delay in release of subsidy to the FCI by Government of India (GOI). However, due to short provision of subsidy in the Budget, FCI had raised short-term loan (STL) to meet its working capital requirement,” he added.
The Minister informed that the FCI raised Rs 35,150 crore as STL in the year 2013-14, Rs 59,415 crore in 2014-15 and further Rs 70,820 crore in 2015-16.
“In the financial year 2016-17, against a demand of about Rs 1,29,000 crore for food subsidy for FCI, a budget allocation of about Rs 1,03,300 crore has been made, which undergoes revision at revised estimate and/or supplementary grant stage,” Paswan said.
He further said there is no direct impact of increase in minimum support price of foodgrains on operational expenses like freight, handling, interest and administrative overheads.
In the current fiscal, the Centre has released Rs 25,834 crore as food subsidy to the corporation and another Rs 10,000 crore as wage and means advance.
FCI was established under the Food Corporation Act, 1964, to implement the food policies of the Indian government. FCI is fully-owned by GOI, having paid up capital of Rs 2,830.49 crore.