30 kg rice at Rs one-a-kg set for launch in Karnataka

Karnataka government is launching on Wednesday its "game-changer" initiative to supply 30 kg of rice at Rs one to close one crore poor families.

Bangalore: Karnataka government is launching tomorrow its "game-changer" initiative to supply 30 kg of rice at Re one to close one crore poor families across the State.

The "Anna Bhagya" would be unveiled by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah here, while in-charge Ministers would do so in district headquarters, in what looks like a "show-piece" scheme of the new Congress government.

The scheme, a key promise of the Congress in the assembly elections in May, was originally planned to be implemented from June one but postponed due to supply side problems.

In view of the huge cost involved, the scheme has come under criticism from some quarters, including opposition BJP which has dubbed the programme a "hasty decision" without doing home-work.

Minister of State for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Dinesh Gundurao told reporters on Tuesday that the Centre would give an additional 20,000 tonnes per month, while the State has signed a deal with Chhatisgarh government to get 25,000 tonnes.

Karnataka would buy the commodity from the country`s "rice-bowl" at Rs 23.30 but including transportation and other cost it`s expected to go up to around Rs 27 a kg, the Minister said.

Eighty-seven lakh BPL cardholders and 11 lakh "Anthyodaya Anna Yojane" beneficiaries are covered under the scheme.

Single member cardholders would get 10 kg per month, the two-member ones 20 kg and while three and above would get a maximum of 30 kg.

The government, it is estimated, would need Rs 4,200 crore for rolling out the mega scheme in the current financial year.

"We have enough stock this month", Gundurao said, adding, the government does not foresee any supply side constraints.

In addition, the government has tied up with NCDEX, facilitation buying of rice through the bidding process.


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