The Centre will reimburse to the States the additional burden due to the implementation of the midday meals scheme in schools on account of withdrawal of subsidy on LPG cylinders.

“The Human Resource Development Ministry is already providing 75 per cent of the cooking cost to all the States and Union Territories. The fuel cost is a part of the cooking cost,” Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“The Ministry has also requested all the States and Union Territories to supply the midday meal in an uninterrupted manner without affecting the nutrition of the eligible children, despite discontinuation of supply of subsidised LPG cylinders to the midday meal scheme by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,” Mr. Tharoor said in a written reply to a question.

He said that in 68 per cent of the schools across the country, midday meal is cooked on fuels other than gas.

The HRD Ministry had asked the Petroleum Ministry to exempt LPG cylinders used for the midday meal scheme from removing the subsidy cap. However, the request was turned down. It then approached the Finance Ministry to seek more funds for the scheme to compensate for the additional burden it would incur.