The central government announced today that wheat and rice subsidy will not be revised till 2018 and it would continue to be the same as earlier. The announcement was made by Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan in the Lok Sabha today. Paswan said that a provision exists under the National Food Security Act (NFSA) 2013 to revise the prices of food grains after every three years, but the government has decided to keep it the same as earlier till 2018. This means that wheat will continue to be available at a subsidized rate of Rs 2 per kg and rice at Rs 3 per kg. As of now, nearly 81 crore people are covered under the subsidized food grain scheme.
Paswan said that state governments shared an equal responsibility to ensure that no one goes hungry. He said that the center is doing everything it can to properly implement the scheme across the country. He said that the Private Entrepreneurs Guarantee (PEG) Scheme was launched in 2008-2009 to augment storage capacity in the country. Under the scheme, private players, state agencies and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) were encouraged to construct storage warehouses. In turn, the FCI provided the assurance to rent the warehouse for a minimum time period of 10 years. Paswan said that involvement of private players ensured that the government does not have to spend funds on constructing food grain warehouses.