Cabinet okays revision in Mid Day Meal budget

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Tuesday approved a revision in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, increasing the budget expenditure to Rs 12,054 Crore for 2019-20 from Rs 11,000 crore announced at the time of the budget.

This would be in addition to the subsidy of about Rs 8,000 crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution, the government said.

The revision has been done to account for the inflation observed in the cost of cooking, transportation, kitchen devises and repair work.

“Annual increase in Cooking cost linked to Inflation Index. This year Cooking cost is enhanced to Rs 4.35 and Rs 6.51 per child per school day, thus Cooking cost is enhanced by Rs 361 crore.

“This will offset the impact of inflation on the food items under Mid Day Meal Scheme,” the government said in a statement.

It said that Rs 50 crore have been provisioned for the strengthening of food items to address the “problems of anaemia and other micro nutrient deficiencies”.

Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of government, government-aided Schools. The scheme covers more than 12 crore children studying in 11.4 lakh schools across the country.

The government said it had incurred Rs 17,600 crore in the scheme last year, including a subsidy of about Rs 7,600 crore on food grains.