Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced a populist 'Amma Cement Scheme' under which it will procure cement from private manufacturers and sell them at Rs 190 per bag in the wake of possible increase in rates of the key construction component.
The scheme, named after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who is addressed as 'Amma' (Mother) by her supporters, follows similar efforts like the Amma Canteen and Amma Mineral water, all low-cost initiatives.
Jayalalithaa said she had recently discussed with officials the situation regarding production of cement from the state and supply from outside.
The erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh contributed about 4-4.5 lakh tonnes of cement for Tamil Nadu's monthly average use of 17-18 lakh tonnes, but the companies there had now hiked the prices by Rs 80-100 per bag, she said.
"Subsequently, the supplies to Tamil Nadu had reduced to around 1.50 lakh tonnes to 3 lakh tonnes, creating a favourable situation for the private manufacturers here to increase price of cement," she said in a statement.
Therefore, she had directed officials to roll out the "Amma Cement Scheme" aiming to benefit the lower and middle classes, wherein the government will procure two lakh tonnes of cement from private manufacturers every month and sell them through all urban and rural local bodies at Rs 190 per bag.
Beneficiaries are eligible for a maximum of 750 bags for 1500 sqft, and the cement could be bought by submitting the government approved building plan or the road plan, she said.
Those wanting to buy cement for repair and renovation are eligible for 10 to 100 cement bags, she said.
Tamil Nadu Cement Corporation will be the nodal agency while the scheme will be implemented by Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation and Rural Development Department through their 470 godowns, the Chief Minister said.
The scheme will also cover the state's Green House and Central government's Indira Awas Yojana, she said adding, it will help ease the burden of lower and middle class in constructing a house.