Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has asked the district Collectors to ensure availability of essential provisions like soaps and blankets in social welfare hostels.

The Chief Minister's directive comes in the light of a representation made by Congress MLAs belonging to SC/ST communities about the cut in the budgetary provisions effected by the Finance Department.

The MLAs told Dr. Reddy that the Finance Department had cut the budgetary allocations for purchase of soaps and other essentials as they were categorised as `cosmetics.' Dr. Reddy assured them that the officials would be instructed to take steps to restore the provisions.