Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy Tuesday launched a new scheme under which 22.6 million below poverty line (BPL) families would get rice at Re 1 a kg instead of the present Rs 2.
The Chief Minister launched the scheme in Khairatabad locality of the state capital on the 56th formation day of the state, saying it was aimed at providing food security to the poor.
Officials said under the scheme each family would get 20 kg rice every month.
The BPL families would be supplied 330,000 tonnes of subsidised rice through the public distribution system every month.
The state would provide annual subsidy of Rs.26 billion for the scheme. This includes Rs.2 billion being provided for the existing Rs.2 a kg rice scheme.
The Chief Minister told the gathering that another 3.1 million ration cards would be issued during the second phase of `Racchabanda`, the mass contact programme beginning Nov 2.
The Chief Minister had announced the scheme in September this year, nearly two decades after then chief minister NT Rama Rao announced the revolutionary Rs 2 a kg rice scheme for BPL families.
Andhra Pradesh has joined Tamil Nadu and Kerala in implementing this scheme for the poor.
It was Telugu Desam Party (TDP) founder NTR who had introduced Rs 2 a kg rice in Andhra Pradesh after coming to power in early 1980s. His son-in-law N Chandrababu Naidu, who dislodged him from power in 1995, discontinued the scheme.
YS Rajasekhara Reddy, the Congress chief minister who was killed in a helicopter crash, re-introduced the scheme in 2008.