The scope of Amma Hastam, a scheme under which an assortment of nine grocery items are provided to white card holders at Rs 185, is being expanded.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed officials to study what other items people need most so that they too could be provided to them at a subsidised price. Under Amma Hastam, the government is providing one kg each of toor dal, whole meal atta, wheat and salt and one litre palm oil, half kg sugar, quarter kg chilli powder, half kg tamarind and 100 grams turmeric powder. Though the price of this pack costs the government `292, it is being provided at `185.
According to Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu, his department officials are examining other items that could be provided to the white card holders. “We are taking a look at items like toothpaste, toothbrush and soaps that are required for everyone,” he said at the Secretariat on Monday.
The minister said the focus was not only on quality but also making grocery items under Amma Hastam available at Mandal Level Stock (MLS) points in adequate quantities so that ration shop dealers could access them easily. “Amma Hastam items would be available at ration shops between 10th and 25th of every month,” Sridhar Babu said.
He said there was an overwhelming response for Amma Hastam. “Since most of the ration shop dealers are pressed for money, we are allowing them to draw grocery items in two or even three instalments. For those who cannot even afford payments in three instalments, the government would help them obtain loans from banks,” Sridhar Babu said.
The minister said that white card holders need not buy the entire pack of grocery items and they would be allowed to buy only those that they need from among the nine items in a pack.