Centre will roll out its multi-billion dollar food welfare plan by December, Union Food and Consumers Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said, allowing 67 percent of its 1.2 billion people access to cheap rice and wheat.
The previous Congress-led government approved the National Food Security Act (NFSA) in August 2013. India’s 29 states and seven federally administered territories had to implement it within a year.
After missing several deadlines, only 11 states could introduce the plan and the rest sought more time.
“Finally most states have agreed to implement the NFSA by December, after the latest deadline ends in September,” Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters after meeting his counterparts from states on Tuesday.
In his February budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earmarked 1.24 trillion rupees ($20.11 billion) for food subsidies.
Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing the expensive food welfare plan approved by his predecessor Manmohan Singh, the government is now trying to rein in overall subsidies to focus on investment in manufacturing and infrastructure.