Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy formally inaugurated the 2-a-kg rice scheme for below-poverty-line (BPL) families at Jadcharla in backward Mahbubnagar district on 9th April, 2004. In all, about 42,000 fair price shops are networked to sell the subsidized rice.
The Rs 2-a-kg scheme has been revived after a gap of 12 years. Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy said that the scheme would provide ‘food security’ and blunt the effects of a price rise for poor sections in the State. In all, about 1.85 crore (18.5 million) BPL families holding white ration cards would benefit from the scheme. The state government has earmarked Rs 1,980 crore (Rs 19.80 billion) for the scheme in the budget for 2008-09. The scheme will benefit 6.51 crore (65.1 million) persons out of the state’s total population of 8.22 crore (82.2 million) now. Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy said that his main focus was to bring back the welfare of the people, particularly the poor and added that the government would provide 4 kg of rice per head, subject to a maximum of 20 kg per family per month.
The cheap rice scheme is being implemented at a time when the open market price of rice has swelled to Rs 13 a kg. Such a huge difference between the subsidized price and the market rate gives scope for diversion into the black market. But the government has taken all measures to ensure that there is no pilferage at any level.
Civil Supplies Minister Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy said that about 340,000 ton of rice per month would be required for the scheme. The government is working out the modalities for conducting regular social audit on the quality, timely delivery and other aspects of the scheme. Integrated flying squads would be constituted at the district level.