Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Cabinet on Monday cleared Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy’s proposal to introduce the subsidised rice scheme in its original form, as implemented by the late Telugu Desam founder-leader N. T. Rama Rao.

Meeting after a month’s gap, the Cabinet adopted an unanimous resolution asking the Finance and Civil Supplies departments to work out a strategy to go ahead with the supply of rice at Rs. 2 a kg to 1.82 crore white card-holders, with an extra commitment of Rs 1,012 crore.

Information Minister A. Ramanarayan Reddy said the modalities of the scheme and the date of grounding would be announced shortly.

Modernise

The Cabinet also cleared a plan to modernise and strengthen the State police force to tackle terrorism, extremism, factionalism and law and order problem, by recruiting 37,880 men and purchase modern weaponry and float OCTOPUS, all at a cost of Rs 882 crore.

The new recruits would strengthen the 16 police wings, besides taking the total force to an all-time high of 1,58,880.

As part of the plan, all ministers/VIPs would get bullet-proof Scorpios.