New Delhi: Government is already burdened with food subsidy. It has now abolished the proposal for replacing the old grains with new produce in the warehouses by doubling the allocation of grains to ration consumers. In the discussion of Empowered Group of Ministers, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has rejected the proposal saying that the government is not in a position to withhold the pressure of Rs 32,000 crore with the implementation of proposal.

It was said in the proposal of the Food Ministry that the warehouse is stuffed with old grains and there is no space left for accommodating new produce. Because constructing new warehouses will take some time, for stop-gap arrangement we need to work out a plan to empty the existing warehouses. The Food Ministry had proposed a plan to sort out the issue.

According to the plan, it was proposed to double the food allocation of Above Poverty Line (APL) consumers to 20 kg per month and Below Poverty Line (BPL) consumers should also have additional allocation. As well it was said in the proposal to decrease the rates. But doing all this, the stocks will be cleared to great extent in the warehouse and new grains can be put up in the warehouses. It will also help in containing price rise. The Food Ministry also presented the estimated expenditure descriptions in implementation of the scheme in current FY 2012-13.   
According to this, allocations to BPL and APL consumers will cost Rs 15,029 crore and Rs 17,765 crore respectively. The Finance Minister rejected the proposal on the basis of the expected cost. For the last two years, BPL consumers are allocated 50 lakh tonne additional wheat and rice every year. To empty the warehouse, the Food Ministry wanted the higher allocation in current year.

Due to slow pace of construction of new warehouses, there is no space left for storage of new food grains.  There was heavy purchase of food grains last year; the warehouse is filled with such stocks and the Food Ministry has no idea how to accommodate the new food grains.