Pawar launches subsidised edible oil scheme in AndhraJuly 28th, 2008 - 8:51 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, July 28 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Monday launched a subsidised edible oil distribution scheme of the Andhra Pradesh government here. Under the scheme, white ration cardholders will get one litre palmolein oil at Rs.45 against the market price of Rs.60 to Rs. 65.
Pawar handed over the oil packets to a few beneficiaries at the state secretariat to formally launch the scheme. He was to inaugurate the same at a public function at Tandur in Ranga Reddy district but his chopper could not take off due to bad weather.
The scheme has been introduced as part of the attempts by the Congress government to woo people ahead of the assembly and Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held in March next year.
The state government in April had re-launched a Rs.2-a-kilo rice scheme, 25 years after it was first introduced in the state.
Under the scheme, 18.7 million poor families having white ration cards are entitled to 20 kg of subsidised rice every month supplied through government-run fair price shops.
The government recently also introduced the sale of red gram at subsidised rates through fair price shops.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said the government was trying to make essential commodities available at affordable prices. The scheme would cover 90 percent of the state’s 78 million population and the total subsidy would amount to Rs.30 billion annually.
While the central government is supplying oil to the state at a rate of Rs.54 per kg, the state government is providing an additional subsidy of Rs.9.
He said the state had urged the centre to supply two million tonnes of palm oil every month for the scheme.
Speaking on the occasion, Pawar listed out the steps taken by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government to ease the situation created by the shortage of food grains and price rise.
He said the agriculture sector was growing at four percent thanks to the efforts made by the government and the farming community.
Pawar claimed that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of paddy was increased by 52 percent during the last four years. He said the prime minister’s economic advisory committee was looking into the demand for raising the MSP for paddy to Rs.1,000 per quintal.
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