Question : Supply of Essential Food Items to Tamil Nadu

(a) whether the Union Government is providing rice, wheat, pulses, edible oil and kerosene at subsidized price to Tamil Nadu to extend the coverage of the Public Distribution System (PDS) to all priority households;

(b) if so, the details thereof and the details of supply provided monthly and subsidy provided per kgs/unit of each commodity;

(c) whether it is a fact that the subsidy rates were fixed a long back and was not increased for a long time till date;

(d) if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor; and

(e) the measures taken by the Government to increase the supply of these essential food items to Tamil Nadu and also the subsidy given on them?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (e): Union Government is distributing rice, wheat and kerosene at subsidized rates to beneficiaries under the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) across all States/Union Territories including Tamil Nadu. However, Government of India is not implementing any scheme, at present, for distribution of pulses and edible oils at subsidized rates through TPDS.


Coverage under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), for receiving highly subsidized foodgrains is under two categories, namely, households covered under the Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households. Accordingly, for the AAY and priority households identified by the Government of Tamil Nadu, within the coverage determined for the State, monthly 193221.10 tons of rice and 8893.02 tons of wheat is being allocated for eligible households at Rs.3/2 per kg for rice/wheat. In addition, 99773.138 tons of rice and 4592.070 tons of wheat is also being allocated, @ Rs.8.30/6.10 per kg for rice/wheat, to Tamil Nadu as ‘tide over’ allocation to protect their average annual offtake under erstwhile Targeted Public Distribution System, as per provisions of NFSA.
The difference between the Economic Cost of foodgrains and the subsidized prices under NFSA is borne by the Central Government as food subsidy, which is dynamic. With the increase of Minimum Support Price (MSP) of foodgrains and corresponding increase in the cost of procurement incidentals, the economic cost of foodgrains gets increased, resulting in increasing per unit food subsidy also. At the current level of Economic Cost, the per unit subsidy for allocation of foodgrains out of Central pool stocks for eligible AAY and priority households is Rs.33.02 per kg for rice and Rs.23.06 for wheat. For tide over allocation, the per unit subsidy is Rs.27.72 per kg for rice and Rs.18.96 per kg for wheat. The per unit subsidy is uniform across all the States/UTs including Tamil Nadu.

Allocation of kerosene is made by Government of India to various States/UTs, including Tamil Nadu for cooking and lighting purpose on quarterly basis. Further distribution of PDS Kerosene within the States/UTs under PDS network to various categories of ration card holders/ consumers is made by the concerned States/UTs. Scale and criteria of distribution are also decided by respective States/UTs. The details of quarter-wise allocation of PDS Kerosene to State Government of Tamil Nadu during the current financial year is as under:
Quarters (2019-20) Allocation
(in Kilo Liter)
Quarter 1 48444
Quarter 2 32292
Quarter 3 32292

The average subsidy on PDS kerosene during April to September, 2019 is Rs.8.52 per litre.

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