“Welfare schemes in Andhra Pradesh are so poorly designed and badly implemented that they have been merely perpetuating poverty, ill-health and indebtedness among the so-called beneficiaries,” said Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan here on Monday.

Talking to mediapersons, Dr. JP said there was an urgent need to mitigate poverty, promote health and well-being of farmers and for empowering them. But in the name of serving the poor, the government was mortgaging the future of people to serve the short-term interests of the ruling party.

The Rs.2-a-kg rice scheme, kerosene at subsidies rate, free power to farmers and Arogyasri schemes could have been designed better to contribute to the welfare of beneficiaries and the wealth of the nation, he said.

When late Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao launched the Rs.2-a-kg rice scheme, the open market price was round Rs.3 kg, but today price of rice had shot up to Rs.30 a kg while the value of rupee had plummeted steeply. In other words, the government was supplying rice at 50 paise a kg in real terms at 1983 prices against the market price of about Rs.30.

Almost 80 per cent of families in the State possessed white cards.

Cap on free power

Dr. JP also suggested that the government impose a cap on free power a farmer could draw and charge regular tariff once he exceeded the ceiling.