The Government will provide free cereals to more than 800 million underprivileged people for one year

Archive – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi – Christoph Soeder/dpa

The Government of India will devote more than 2 trillion rupees (22 billion euros) to a program that will provide free food grains to more than 800 million underprivileged people for one year.

From January 2023, more than half a dozen states will not have to deal with the financing of cereals as they will be available for a minimal price or free under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

This initiative replaces a previous campaign of highly subsidized cereals by the government in India, the world’s second largest producer and consumer of wheat and rice.

Food Minister Piyush Goyal announced the «historic decision» after a meeting with the cabinet. «The neediest will no longer have to pay anything for food security,» he shared in a message on Twitter this weekend.

This news comes ahead of polls in several Indian states in 2023 and general elections in 2024, something that could set the tone for a possible re-election of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a third term, Bloomberg has reported.

This decision is in addition to the measures implemented to alleviate the increase in the price of commodities during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the objectives of the Indian Executive in order to ensure food security in the second most populous nation in the world.