Hyderabad: Coming to the rescue of the poor and the needy in the wake of complete lockdown of the State to contain coronavirus, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday announced that the government would supply free rice and Rs 1,500 cash to purchase essential commodities for 87.59 lakh white ration card holders. The State government will spend about Rs 2,417 crore to ensure month-long supplies for the white ration card holders.
Speaking to mediapersons at Pragathi Bhavan here, Chandrashekhar Rao observed that due to the lockdown, daily wage labourers and other poor people will not be able to earn their livelihood. Under these circumstances, the State government will provide 12 kg rice free for each person (against monthly supply of 6 kg per person). The rice will be supplied through ration shops and necessary orders will be issued by the State government shortly. Additionally, Rs 1,500 per family will be given to each white ration card holder to purchase groceries.
“For supplying about 3.36 lakh tonnes rice to all white ration card holders, the State government will spend Rs 1,103 crore. Similarly, another Rs 1,314 crore will be spent on providing Rs 1,500 per family to purchase groceries. Orders are being issued for release of Rs 2,417 crore for immediate distribution of rice and cash,” he said.
The Chief Minister insisted that both government and private employers must pay salaries to their workers, labourers and also those dependent on unorganised sectors for the lockdown period as per the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897.
Safety of Pregnant women
Chandrashekhar Rao said all possible measures were being taken to ensure safety of pregnant women across the State. Though Anganwadi centres were being closed for the next one week, arrangements have been made to supply nutritious food to pregnant women and children at their residences. The Chief Minister directed the Health department officials to prepare a list of pregnant women in the State scheduled for delivery over the next one-two months and take all precautions to provide necessary medical care.
“We are keeping all ambulances and Amma Vodi vehicles ready to ply pregnant women to the hospital. The Health department will track the delivery date of each pregnant woman and ensure that they take nutritious food as well as reach the hospital in time. Senior officials will oversee the arrangements on a regular basis,” he assured, adding that the government was willing to allot as many vehicles as are required for this purpose.
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