Chennai, Sept 15 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi today launched the one rupee a kilo of rice scheme for ration card holders. At present, it costs two rupees a kilo.
As per the new scheme, 20 kilos of rice will be provided at a price of one rupee a kilo.
The scheme was announced on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of nnadurai, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. Annadurai was a follower of E.V.R. Periyar, the founder of the Dravida Kazhagam, and was at the forefront of the rationalist movement.
The populist Rs.2 per kg rice scheme, fulfilling a Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam's (DMK) poll assurance, was launched on June 3 coinciding with Karunanidhi's birthday. Prior to 2006, ration rice cost Rs.3.50 per kg.
Earlier, Karunanidhi said: "Though the move would lead to an additional expenditure of Rs.400 crore annually, it would benefit 1.86 crore families."
The scheme comes at a time when the price of rice in the open market is expected to jump, as mills have been unable to meet their production targets due to power cuts.
Even the state-owned rice mill at Thazhayuthu in Tirunelveli district, from where the ration rice is sourced, has cut down production from 120 tonnes to 60 tonnes a day.