The latest welfare scheme aimed at insulating the poorest from inflation by selling nine essential commodities at Rs. 185, will be launched here on Ugadi, April 11, by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

Collectors and Joint Collectors of districts have been asked to make all arrangements for distributing these items in a single packet to white card-holders from Telugu New Year’s Day.

Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu said these items—one kg each of palm oil, red-gram, wheat, wheat flour and salt, half kg of tamarind and sugar, a quarter kg of chilli powder and 100 grams of saffron powder, would be supplied every month in a packet at a cost of Rs. 185. The scheme would entail an out go of Rs. 650 crore annually as the cost of these items would Rs. 300 in the open market.

An attractive bag would be given to each of them on the first purchase.

Speaking to the media, the Minister said the price of Rs. 185 would be maintained for one year without any change, despite possible price variations in the market. Full-scale implementation of the scheme would be ensured from May when the beneficiaries would be asked to take their packet before 15 of every month.

He warned of severe action against fair price shop dealers if they cause any hurdles to the scheme.

He clarified that they would get a commission of Rs. 4.09 on each packet sold. Mr. Sridhar Babu said that seven lakh bogus ration cards had been weeded out so far. About 4 lakh ration cards had been issued or deleted as a result of the processing of the 16 lakh applications received for ration cards during Rachababda II.