On the first day of launching the State Government’s scheme of selling rice at Rs. 20 per kg, the three designated special shops with two in city and one in Valparai accounted for a sale of little over 800 kg by evening in just one single day.
Launching the scheme, Mayor S.M. Velusamy and Collector M. Karunagaran pointed out that the objective of the Government was to make rice affordable to the low and middle income groups as the prices in the open market had already crossed the Rs. 40 mark and better quality rice going beyond Rs. 50 per kg.
The officials have already brought in over 2,900 tonnes of raw rice and consignments of boiled rice were on their way to Coimbatore.
Initial assessment had put the anticipated requirement at 10,000 tonnes.
The administration has opened three exclusive shops at Coimbatore with one at North Coimbatore Chinthamani headquarters, another one in Town Hall and the third in Valparai. Now efforts are on to identify locations where more such shops could be opened to make the rice at Rs. 20 per kg available to people within their area, the officials said.
There is no restriction on for whom it would be supplied or the quantity.
Officials also clarified that it was not polished PDS rice and it was certainly good quality rice.
Adequate stocks are being maintained with the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation to reach it to the shops for ensuring uninterrupted supply. A homemaker S. Latha wife of Subramanian, a pharmacist, pointed out, “With the rice prices having crossed the Rs. 45 mark, we have stopped buying 25 kg bags for reasons of affordability. We buy in smaller quantities once in three months and every time there is an upward revision in price by Rs. 2 to Rs. 5 per kg.” Under such market conditions, this is a welcome move on the part of the Government, she added.