The Food Corporation of India (FCI), Government's nodal agency to procure and distribute foodgrains, had a total borrowing of Rs 2.19 lakh crore at October-end, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.
Out of the total borrowing, Rs 1.91 lakh crore was sourced from the National Small Saving Fund and Rs 15,737.7 crore through issuance of bonds, Minister of State for Food Danve Raosaheb Dadarao said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Besides, Rs 7,582.66 crore was sourced via cash credit limit and Rs 4,700 crore as short term loan, Dadarao said.
Replying to a query about food subsidy due to the Corporation, he said: "The outstanding subsidy due to be released to the FCI (as on March 31, 2019 was Rs 1,90,921.7 crore."
For 2019-20, the budget estimate for the FCI is Rs 1,51,000 crore, of which Rs 1,06,000 crore has been released till November 15, he added.
"Funds for food subsidy are released to the FCI in time as per the monthly expenditure plan/quarterly expenditure plan. This department has regularly and timely released food subsidy to the FCI as per budgetary allocation," Dadarao said.
Stating that the Corporation has requested equity capital infusion, he said the government has decided to increase the equity capital of the FCI by Rs 5,000 crore and also to provide guarantee to raise long-term bonds of Rs 32,000 crore over a period of four years.
"As against equity infusion plan of Rs 5,000 crore, the government has already released Rs 500 crore during 2018-19. Release of balance Rs 4,500 crore would be considered once the authorised capital of the FCI is enhanced from present level of Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore," the minister said.
On bonds, Dadarao said the FCI has issued bonds of Rs 2,737.70 crore during 2018-19.
"Further, there is a plan to issue bonds of Rs 13,262.30 crore during 2019-20, Rs 8,000 crore during 2020-21 and Rs 8,000 crore during 2021-22 by the FCI," he added.
The FCI procures wheat and rice from farmers on behalf of the government and these foodgrains are supplied at a highly subsidised prices to over 80 crore people under the national food security law.
The difference between the procurement cost and sales realisation is being reimbursed by the Centre in form of food subsidy.