New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) will discuss Thursday a proposal to fix the rate at which foodgrain will be provided to states beyond the allocation made under the National Food Security Ordinance.
Under the food security programme, the government will provide 5 kg rice and wheat per month per person at Rs 3 and Rs 2 per kg respectively.
The Centre would require 62 million tonne foodgrain and Rs 1.25 lakh crore annually to implement this programme that covers 67 per cent of the country's population.
According to sources, the food ministry has moved a proposal before the CCEA to protect the average offtake under the Public Distribution System (PDS) of last three years.
The ministry has proposed that the additional foodgrain, estimated at about 3 million tonne, should be supplied to states at APL rate which is Rs 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 per kg for rice.
If the CCEA approves this proposal, the government will make an amendment to the Food Bill introduced on August 7 in Lok Sabha to replace the National Food Security Ordinance.
Many state governments, including Kerala, had written to the ministry that their annual foodgrains allocation will decline after the implementation of this programme.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee had also suggested that the existing allocation of states should be protected through an executive order.
The Centre's economic cost (MSP plus other expenses) to procure rice and wheat stands at about Rs 22-23 per kg and 18-19 per kg, respectively.
On Tuesday, the food security programme was launched in three states -- Delhi, Haryana and Uttarakhand.