Yet another welfare scheme named after Indira Gandhi ‘Amma Hastham’ was launched all over the State on Ugadi day for supplying specified quantities of nine essential commodities in a packet just for Rs.185 to white card households.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy formally launched it as a Ugadi gift to the poor by handing over packets to two women at Telugu New Year’s Day celebrations at Ravindra Bharathi here on Thursday. Both beneficiaries expressed their happiness stating that the commodities supplied to them at subsidised price would protect their families from inflation.

The scheme has been launched to counter criticism that supply of rice alone at a subsidised price to white cardholders without providing other essential items would not serve the desired purpose.

This problem would be solved now as six out of the nine items supplied in packets would be used for preparing curry.

A brochure released by Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy in the presence of several Ministers said 18 other items such as soaps, cosmetics, tea/coffee powder, toothpaste, coconut oil would also be supplied at subsidised prices to these cardholders from Dasara when another scheme “Village Mall” would be launched.

The Chief Minister said the ‘Amma Hastham’, under which nine commodities would be procured from the open market, would require Rs.5,544 crore annually. While a sum of Rs.4,884 crore out of this would be secured from beneficiaries through sales, the balance of Rs.660 crore would be given by the government as subsidy.

The Village Mall would be the fourth scheme being launched by the government under public distribution system — the one rupee-per-kg scheme, Mana Biyyam (using local paddy for local cardholders) and ‘Amma Hastham’ being the first three.