HYDERABAD: Raising eyebrows in the Telugu Desam, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to name the gift hampers scheme after chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The scheme, meant for the downtrodden, will be launched during Sankranti.
Civil supplies minister Paritala Sunitha said on Saturday that the scheme would be named ‘Chandranna Sankranti’.
Interestingly, Naidu had announced during the recently-concluded winter session of the state Assembly that the scheme would be named after TDP founder NT Rama Rao.
Through this new scheme, the state government will give a gift pack of six essential and other commodities for the ensuing Sankranti festival to BPL families in the state.
Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters in Anantapur, Sunitha said that after discussing on the name of the scheme in length, the State government had decided to name it Chandranna Sankranti. “We hope that the name of the scheme would go well with the people,” she added. Stating that the government was keen on taking up welfare programmes for the poor, Sunitha said the proposed gift pack worth Rs 220 would contain half a kilo each of red gram, palmolein oil and jaggery, one kilo each of whole Bengal gram, wheat flour and 100 gm of ghee.
According to her, the pack would be given to 1.3 crore poor families through fair price shops and the exercise would cost the exchequer Rs 287 crore. This would be in addition to the regular items given through public distribution system such as 20 kg rice, one kilo wheat, half-kilo sugar, two litres of kerosene in rural areas and four litres in urban areas, she added.
“The scheme would be a financial burden on the cash-starved AP, yet the government wanted to send out a message that it intended to bring cheer into the lives of the poor,” Sunitha claimed.