Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today gave a new name-- `Mana Biyyam` (our rice)- to the state government`s Re 1/kg rice scheme.
The move came with an assurance that the Public Distribution System (PDS) would continue even after the full launch of Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme.
"We will supply more essential items under PDS at lesser price from coming Ugadi, the Telugu New Year`s Day. But we can`t offer everything free as being promised by some Opposition parties," the Chief Minister said launching the Mana Biyyam scheme here today.
Under this scheme, "quality rice" grown in the state would be supplied to consumers unlike the current system where rice from other states like Punjab and Haryana was being distributed.
"This will ensure quality rice supply, besides remunerative price to farmers," the Chief Minister said.
He claimed that the rice that was being sold at Rs 25-a-kg in the open market would be supplied at Re 1/kg to over 1.9 crore white ration card holders.
Mana Biyyam would first be implemented on a pilot basis in Karimnagar, Warangal and Nalgonda districts from today followed by Guntur, Prakasam, SPS Nellore and Chittoor districts from next month.
It would be extended to the entire state in a phased manner.
Also, tur dal, tamarind, sugar, iodised salt, wheat, wheat flour, palmolein oil, turmeric and chilli powder would be supplied as a "package" at a total of Rs 185 as against the market price of Rs 297.
Reacting to the ration shop dealers` demand on the occasion, the Chief Minister said the government would soon issue orders enhancing their commission.
Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu sought to allay apprehensions that the government was about to shut down the ration shops across the state.
"That is not going to happen. In fact, we want to turn the ration shops into mini supermarkets," he said.
Ministers Botsa Satyanarayana, N Raghuveera Reddy, Danam Nagender, Mukesh Goud and others were present at the function.