India. Centre may cut its share for sugar subsidy


States may soon have to bear major share of the sugar subsidy if they want to continue selling the sweetner under public distribution system at cheaper rates. The Centre is likely to cut its contribution substantially.

At present, the Centre pays a subsidy of Rs 18.5/kg for people to get sugar at Rs 13.5/kg at ration shops. Sources said the Union food ministry has written to Union finance ministry to do away with Centre shelling out nearly Rs 4,500 crore annually as sugar subsidy to 30 states. There are indications of the budget announcing major reduction in this subsidy, which is borne by the Centre. Other ministries have also drawn up long wish lists for the budget. '

Telecom ministry has suggested rolling out Wi-Fi hotspots in every gram panchayat simultaneously by laying optic fibre cables. The ministry responsible for development of North Eastern states has suggested earmarking Rs 1,000 crore as strategic development fund for border districts in Arunachal Pradesh. The women and child development ministry wants to expandthe Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme to 120 new districts, sources said. Housing ministry, which has an ambitious target to provide home to every homeless in urban areas by 2022, has sought infusion of Rs 3,000 crore in the National Housing Bank. Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has also written to finance minister Arun Jaitley to increase allocation for the sector amid reports of finance ministry indicating allocation of Rs 58,362 crore for the sector against its demand for Rs 90,904 crore.


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