In the 2013-14, government's subsidy bill stood at Rs 89,740.02 crore.
    
The pre-budget economic document also pointed that the "food subsidy bill has increased substantially in the past few years putting severe strain on the public exchequer".
    
The Survey stated that food subsidy has gone up as the economic cost of wheat and rice has continuously increasing, but the issue price of the food grains under PDS has been kept unchanged since July 1, 2002.
    
"Rationalisation of subsidies and better targeting of beneficiaries would release resources for public investment in agriculture," it added.
    
The pre-budget economic document emphasised that agriculture and food sector needs huge investment in research, education, extension, irrigation, fertilisers, and laboratories to test soil, water and commodities, warehousing, cold-storage.
    
The survey opines that the focus of public expenditure for agriculture so far has been on provision of subsidies, public expenditure in agriculture is only one-fourth of expenditure towards food and fertiliser subsidies. It is time it shifted towards investments to boost productivity.

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