Chennai

Amma canteens in city incur ₹484 crore loss

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Chennai Corporation has collected ₹185 crore so far

With rising expenditure, the total loss incurred by Amma Canteens in Chennai is set to touch ₹500 crore shortly.

The Chennai Corporation has incurred a loss of ₹484 crore, owing to Amma Canteens so far, which has led to a gradual reduction in expenditure for the welfare scheme for the urban poor.

According to the original proposal submitted by the civic body to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in 2012, the welfare scheme was designed to run without any loss or profit, as inputs such as rice are subsidised.

According to data compiled by the Chennai Corporation, the total expenditure for 407 Amma Canteens in the city was ₹669 crore, since its launch in 2013.

The civic body has collected a revenue of ₹185 crore from the Amma Canteens so far. Many of the 407 canteens in the city have started reducing the quantity of food supplied to the poor, as part of efforts to reduce expenditure.

‘Space for ATMs’

For the past few months, the State government has been directing the civic body to explore alternatives to reduce the losses and increase revenue in the canteens. It has also asked the civic body to generate revenue by providing space for ATMs in the canteens.

Representatives of public and private sector banks will hold discussions with the civic body to use the space in the canteens for setting up their ATMs. The government has also asked the civic body to develop Aavin booths and parlours in unused space of the canteens.

The State government has asked the civic body to develop a common kitchen for canteens, to reduce expenditure. This is likely to lead to a loss of job for many women employees. A proposal to supply food to construction workers at the sites of construction has also been made by the government to reduce the number of canteens.

According to sources, the State government is likely to study the impact of mismanagement by the Health Department staff members, including assistant health officers, who head the team of sanitary officers procuring vegetables for the canteens.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 12:54:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/amma-canteens-in-city-incur-484-crore-loss/article30119583.ece

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