India is poised to spend nearly $6 billion to purchase 5-8 million tonnes worth of wheat and rice in the next few months, according to a report.
The country’s government hopes to buy enough grains to meet its annual food needs, which are expected to rise to 5 billion tonnes this year from 4.5 billion tonnes in the current fiscal.
India has a population of about 2.2 billion and is expected to consume 5.6 billion tonnes of grains in 2020.
The government is now considering a range of ways to address its budget shortfall, such as increasing production by buying more grains and improving the quality of the grains it uses, the Times of India reported.
The government is also looking at ways to buy up to 5 million tonnes more rice in 2020, the report said.
India, the world’s second-largest grain producer, has been facing a deficit of nearly $3 billion in fiscal 2017, due to a shortage of wheat, according the report.
It said the government was also trying to reduce its debt load and its debt ratio, which is the amount of debt it owes to lenders.
It said the deficit will be eliminated by 2018-19.