India’s Sustained Commitment to Food Security: ₹1.68 Lakh Crore in Subsidies to FCI and State DCPs in 2023

In 2023, India has taken a significant step in reinforcing its commitment to ensuring food security for its citizens, particularly those in vulnerable sections of society. Amidst the backdrop of economic challenges and the ongoing repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian government has allocated a substantial subsidy amounting to ₹1.68 lakh crore to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) and state Decentralized Procurement (DCP) agencies. This allocation represents a critical component of the nation’s efforts to combat food insecurity and provide nutritional support to millions.

Subsidy Allocation and Its Impact

  • Total Subsidy and Distribution: The Indian government released a subsidy of ₹1.67 lakh crore to the FCI and ₹57,686 crore to state DCPs in the period between January 1, 2023, and December 15, 2023. These funds are dedicated to the National Food Security Act (NFSA) and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY)​​.
  • Food Grain Provision Under PMGKAY: Initially launched in April 2020 as a response to the pandemic, the PMGKAY has been a cornerstone in India’s food security strategy. Under this scheme, 5 kg of food grain per person per month is provided free of cost to beneficiaries covered under the NFSA​​.
  • Extension of the Scheme: Recognizing the continued need, the government has extended the PMGKAY for five more years until December 2028, making it one of the world’s largest social welfare schemes. This extension is expected to incur an additional cost of ₹11.8 lakh crore​​.

Addressing Food and Nutritional Security

  • Free Food Grain Supply: From January 1, 2023, the government is implementing a scheme to supply free food grains to all antyodaya and priority households for one year. This scheme targets approximately 81 crore beneficiaries under the NFSA, aiming to improve their access to food grains​​.
  • One Nation One Ration Card (ONORC) Scheme: This citizen-centric and technology-driven scheme, launched in 2019, facilitates the intra-State and inter-State portability of ration cards. The ONORC scheme complements the government’s efforts in ensuring food security across various states and regions​​.

Budgetary Provisions and Transparency

  • FCI’s Working Capital Requirement: The budget for FY 2023-24 has set aside an indicative outlay of ₹1.45 lakh crore as Internal and Extra Budgetary Resources (IEBR) for FCI. This amount is intended to cover short-term working capital requirements necessary for procurement and managing PDS operations​​.
  • Budgetary Transparency and Food Subsidy: The government aims to maintain transparency in its budgetary processes. The indicative working capital requirement for FCI is part of this effort, ensuring that the food subsidy released to FCI from the Union Budget is adequate to cover all costs associated with the procurement and distribution of essential commodities through the PDS​​.


India’s allocation of ₹1.68 lakh crore in subsidies for the year 2023 reflects a profound commitment to addressing food insecurity and nutritional challenges. The initiatives like PMGKAY and ONORC scheme, coupled with substantial budgetary allocations to FCI and state DCPs, demonstrate the government’s proactive approach in ensuring that the basic needs of its population are met, particularly in times of crisis. This effort not only addresses immediate needs but also aligns with India’s long-term goals of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, which emphasizes the eradication of hunger.



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