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INDIAN STATE AP introduces Rs 2/kg rice. Scheme already in effect. Or about at Pesos 2.20 per kilo.

Rice paddiesIn one of the biggest welfare schemes through which the Y S R Reddy government hopes to return to power, about 400 thousand trucks or  lorries would transport a staggering 3.5 Million tons of rice to the 41,000-odd fair price shops in the state of Andhra Pradesh {AP} starting  Wednesday April 9.
It will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Reddy at Jadcherla in Mahbubnagar district.

Until June, three days in the month are to be set aside for rice distribution with each family scheduled to get 20 kg per month. From July onwards, the rice would be distributed on the first three days of the month. It was former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao who had launched the Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme after coming to power in 1983 and it had paid rich electoral dividends for him in the 1994 polls.

It is a scheme that can bring comfort to the poor as officially only those families below the poverty line (BPL) are entitled for this sop. At the same time, the humungous quantity involved, plus the existence of thousands of fake white ration cards (for BPL families) can give rise to massive corruption in the form of FP shop dealers diverting the rice to the open market and indulging in black-marketing.

Since 1994, subsidized rice has been available for the BPL families, starting at Rs. 3.25 per kg. After him, N Chandrababu Naidu increased the price to Rs 3.50 a kg. The YSR government had increased the price to Rs 5.25 per kg after it came to power, and the same is being offered now for Rs 2 per kg.

"The subsidy rice scheme is an ongoing one. What this government has done is to cut the rice price to make it more accessible to the poor," civil supplies minister Kasu Venkata Krishna Reddy explained to the Press. In this budget, the state government has earmarked Rs 1,980 crore for the scheme. That would roughly be the amount required for the scheme annually.

This rice would be fine quality rice, comparable to what is available in the open market at Rs 13 a kg. But according to the Civil Supplies Minister, it would be grade A white Andhra rice but a bit coarse in nature.
In the Philippines, the rice issue is still under control and all measures are being undertaken by President G M Arroyo and Agriculture secretary Arthur Yap. Filipinos are fond of rice even during breakfast times.


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