Special Correspondent

1.78 crore people will benefit, says Food Minister E.V. Velu

Marriage assistance scheme be re-launched83,000 saplings to be planted in each district Khadi Board special rebate from June 3-10

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday launched the Rs. 2 a kg rice scheme, at the first government function he participated in after assuming office.

"It will not be an exaggeration to say that the happiness [that I experience] today is taking me to another world," he said, addressing the function at Alaiamman Koil Street in Teynampet here.

Immediately after the inauguration, which coincided with his 83rd birthday, 28,000 fair price shops across the State began supplying rice at Rs.2 a kg, said Food Minister E.V. Velu. As many as 1.78 crore people would benefit.

Union and State Ministers inaugurated the scheme in various constituencies and districts.

Mr. Karunanidhi handed over a bag containing five kg rice to S. Lakshmi, a resident of 47 D, Thiru.Vi.Ka Colony, in the Thousand Lights constituency represented by his son and Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin.

Mr. Stalin began the distribution in his father's constituency, Chepauk. Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran did so in Purusawalkam.

Mr. Karunanidhi also announced the re-launch of the Moovalur Ramamirtham Ammaiyar Memorial marriage assistance scheme and handed over cheques for Rs. 15,000 each to the mothers of three beneficiaries on the occasion.

The Khadi Board announced a special rebate ranging from 10 to 20 per cent from June 3 to 10 "on account of Chief Minister's birthday and Subha Muhurtam days."

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