Orissa poor to get rice at Rs.2 per kg

July 7th, 2008 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 7 (IANS) The Orissa government Monday announced that it would provide rice to all families living below the poverty line (BPL) at Rs.2 per kg from Aug 1, 2008. “(The) government will provide all the people under the BPL in the state rice at Rs.2 per kg,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.

Each family will get 25 kg of rice every month at the subsidised rate. “The benefit will also be given to people living above the poverty line (APL) in KBK (Kalahandi-Koraput-Bolangir districts),” he said.

The decision will benefit at least 5.7 million people in the BPL category and about 500,000 people in the APL category in KBK area, an official at the chief minister’s office told IANS.

At present, the BPL families in some areas are getting 25 kg rice at subsidised rates - 16 kg at Rs.4.75 and 9 kg at Rs.6.30. The fresh announcement will cost the state over Rs.7 billion ($162.8 million), the official said.

The opposition Congress party has described the announcement as “poll gimmick”. “It is nothing but a gimmick because there are chances of early assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” state Congress president Jayadev Jena told IANS.

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