Food security subsidy should not be reduced even if the fiscal situation is not good, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.
He, however, added that this is his personal view and not the government policy.
"I would say food security should be the first charge on subsidy budget. And if it turns out that basically there is a fiscal problem and we can't afford subsidy, we should cut the other subsidy, not the food security subsidy. That will be my view," Ahluwalia told reporters in a post-budget interaction.
"In my view, I am not expressing government policy, but in my view, it is highly distortionary policy," he added.
He said fertiliser subsidy should be cut to half as it damages soil nutrition.
"We are subsidising chemical fertiliser, not subsidising organic fertiliser. Chemical fertiliser has damaged the nutrition of the soil. Within chemical fertiliser, we are over subsidising urea...If you ask me, we should cut the fertiliser subsidy to half of what it is," he said.