The Telangana government on Monday took up distribution of over three lakh new ration cards across the state.
Ministers and legislators distributed the food security cards to the beneficiaries at programmes held in all the districts.
Civil Supplies Minister Gangula Kamalakar, along with Tribal, and Women and Child Welfare Minister Satyavati Rathore formally launched the distribution of ration cards in Jayashankar-Bhupalpally district.
He said 4.15 lakh families had applied for ration cards while a total of 3,09,082 cards are being distributed across the state, claiming that this is the first time anywhere in the country that over 3 lakh ration cards are being distributed in a single day.
Over eight lakh new beneficiaries will get 6 kg rice each at a subsidised price of Re 1 per kg from August.
The state already has 87.41 lakh ration cards and 2.80 crore beneficiaries. With the distribution of new cards, the total number has gone up to 91 lakh, and the number of beneficiaries increased to 2.88 crore.
The state government will have to spend an additional Rs 200 crore per annum to supply nearly 6,000 metric tonnes of rice to the 8.65 lakh new beneficiaries.
The minister said the government is spending Rs 231 crore on public distribution system every month, and allocating Rs 2,766 crore for the purpose every year.
Kamalakar directed officials to open ration sub-centres in remote areas and ensure that those unable to come to ration shops get the ration at their doorsteps.
The minister noted that the production of food grains, especially paddy, has increased manifold over the last seven years due to the measures taken by the TRS government to promote agriculture and for welfare of farmers.
He pointed out that on one hand, farmers are getting 24 hour free electricity while on the other, the government is also providing them investment support. The completion of irrigation projects also ensured availability of abundant water. “As a result of all these, Telangana has today reached to the position of being Annapurna (food provider) for the country,” he said.
Rathore said the state government was working with the vision that nobody in the state should go hungry.
She said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has directed that ration cards should be issued to all the applicants, and that the Chief Minister was not only taking care of the poor in the state but he also extended helping hand to migrant workers during Covid-19 pandemic by giving them Rs 500, rice and other essential commodities.