Seeking to allay fears that food security programme cost will take a toll on government finances, Food Minister K V Thomas said that the economy will not be impacted adversely by the bill.
"We brought food security ordinance, and the same has been passed as a bill in the Lok Sabha. Nothing has changed in the bill to affect the economy," Thomas told PTI.
Government has dismissed fears of any sharp spike in fiscal deficit this year because of the food security programme that will be implemented once the legislation is through in Parliament.
A sum of Rs 90,000 crore has already been provided for in the current year's budget as food subsidy, including Rs 10,000 crore for the new programme, and it would not cross this level at any rate. The additional subsidy of Rs 10,000 crore would be required when states implement this programme in the next one year, he said.
"However, the subsidy can come down if 25-30 per cent leakages are plugged by bringing reforms in PDS," Thomas said. The landmark Food Security Bill which seeks to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people in the country was passed by the Lok Sabha on August 26.
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