CIC says subsidy is not a grant and is provided to private sector organisations too
A full bench of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has stated in a decision that Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) doesn’t fall under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The CIC said that IFFCO is a multi-state cooperative organization registered under MSCS Act. Deliberating over the issue of government’s funding towards the cooperative society, the CIC held that the central government doesn’t have any stakes in IFFCO.
Though the commission agreed that the fertilizer manufacturer was getting huge subsidies from the central government, it contended that these concessions are being provided to other private sector organizations also. It said that subsidy given to IFFCO is only a mechanism to pay the difference between the production cost and the sale price of fertilizers so as to keep the cost of fertilizers within the reach of poor farmers and hence must not be mistaken with grants given by the government. Therefore, the commission held in its decision that IFFCO doesn’t fit into the definition of public authority.