AP’s Re 1/kg rice scheme to take off from Nov 1

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government will launch an ambitious scheme for the sale of rice to the poorest of the poor at Re 1 per kg on the state's Foundation Day, which falls on November 1.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy signed on the file pertaining to the scheme on the occasion of the 142nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on Sunday, a release from the Chief Minister's Office said here.

The scheme would benefit about 7.50 crore people in the state, the release quoted Reddy as saying.

There are as many as 2.01 crore white card-holders (meant for Antodaya Anna Yojana category families) under the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state and another 25 lakh such cards would be distributed during the 'Rachabanda' mass-contact programme beginning from October 15, he said.

The Rs 2 per kg rice scheme presently being implemented in the state entails an expenditure of Rs 2,000 crore per annum and another Rs 600 crore would be necessary to implement the new scheme, he added.

"The scheme is inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi that poorer sections in society should be taken care of," the release quoted Reddy as saying.

He also highlighted that the state government would introduce more welfare programmes for the benefit of farmers, women, youth, minorities, poor and the weaker sections of society in the near future.