Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday inaugurated her government’s scheme to sell rice in the open market at a retail price of Rs 20 per kilogram.
The scheme was announced in her government’s Budget for 2013-14 as a measure aimed at controlling the price of rice.
Jayalalithaa inaugurated the schemes in person at the Civil Supplies Corporation warehouse in Nandanam in Chennai.
Jayalalithaa herself handed over rice to consumers who had just purchased it at the subsidised rate.
The scheme she launched is meant to off-load one lakh metric tonnes of rice in the open market for sale at a subsidised rate of Rs 20 per kg through Amudham, cooperatives societies-run shops and special shops established by the government for exclusively this purpose.
The plan is aimed at easing the demand pressure in the open market, thereby acting to bring down prices which had shot up after grain production took a hit on the back of failed monsoons and the failure of the Karnataka government to release Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water.
The launch of the Rs 20/kg rice schemes was attended by Cooperation Minister Sellur K Raju, Food Minister R Kamaraj, Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Secretary MP Nirmala and other government functionaries.
The Jayalalithaa government’s Budget had also outlined other measures aimed at dampening constantly rising prices, such as the extension of the scheme to provide toor dhal and urad dhal at `30/kg and palm oil at `25/litre through PDS outlets.
Doubling of the Price Stabilisation Fund to Rs 100 crore and the opening of vegetable stores by the Horticulture Department and co-operative societies that are aimed at removing middlemen from the distribution system.
Reports from other districts said the scheme was launched by respective collectors via Amudham outlets.