In a written reply given in the state assembly, the government said the purchase of ayurvedic biscuits was made through rates determined by an e-tendering process and it also had to pay the additional costs for transportation.
Shiv Sena member RM Wani alleged in the House that the scam came to light in March this year.
In her written reply, women and child development minister Varsha Gaikwad elaborated on the steps taken to provide the food for anganwadi children aged between six months to three years.
She said the government spent the funds through the tribal sub-plan and special component plan (SCP) meant for the welfare of tribal and scheduled caste communities for the purchase and that the price was exorbitant.
Meanwhile, in a reply to another question raised by Congress member Anil Bavankar along with 28 others, Gaikwad said that deaths of 3,542 anganwadi children were reported in districts of Nandurbar, Thane, Gadchiroli and Nashik.
Among those, 2,674 children were aged between 0 to one year and 869 children were aged between one to six years.