A supporter with her child in front of AIADMK Supremo Jayalalitha's poster. (IANS)

‘Amma Canteen’ to ‘Amma Cement’: What is Next?

The “Amma” Brand of Tamil Nadu has come up with its new scheme, “Amma Cement,” of supplying cements at a subsidised rate on Monday. While the price of cement varies from Rs 350 to 375 in the market, Amma Cement emerges with a price of Rs 190.

The Amma brand has gained popularity in and around the state due to its welfare schemes. The other schemes introduced in the past by the Amma brand includes Amma pharmacies, Amma canteens, Amma mineral water, Amma salt, Amma theatres, Amma school bags and Amma tea.

The initiative, launched by AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister in September 2014, is the eighth welfare scheme introduced in Tamil Nadu under Amma brand. The popular scheme has launched on Monday in Tiruchirappally at five godowns as its first phase and will be soon expanded across the state in 470 godowns by January 10. The cement will be sold through 250 godowns of urban and rural local bodies and 220 godowns of the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC).

As per the scheme, beneficiaries can avail a minimum of 50 bags of cement for 100 sq.ft and a maximum of 750 bags for 1500 sq.ft at Rs 190 each. They have to submit the approved building plan with the local authorities to avail it. Meanwhile, the scheme would also be extended to the beneficiaries of the rural housing schemes for the poor such as the Chief Minister’s Green House Solar Powered Scheme and Indira Awaas Yojana.

However, Amma’s welfare schemes seem to be always a relief to the people. Similarly, while the rise in price of cement bothered people, the new scheme would become a great help for the people. The other schemes of Amma brand, pharmacies, canteens and drinking water, have gained wide popularity during the last years.

Amma Pharmacies were launched to provide medicines at a subsidised rate to the people of the state. It has launched 10 outlets in Chennai and 90 across the state in 2014, selling the medicines 10 per cent cheaper.

Amma Canteens provides lunch as well as tiffin at a subsidised rate to people since 2013. While idli costs Rs one, one could have a meal below Rs 10. The scheme aimed mainly at daily wagers.

Amma Mineral Water, which was launched in 2013, ensured quality drinking water at an affordable price of Rs 10 per litre. While the cost of drinking water ranges from Rs 15 and above in all states, Amma water became a relief for the poor and middle-class people.

Amma Salt, launched in 2013, has three varieties of low-cost salt – double fortified, low sodium and refined free-flow iodized. The salt is a product of Tamil Nadu Salt Corporation Limited (TNSC) under the State Industries Department.

Amma Theatres are launched in 2014, offering entertainment at an affordable price less than Rs 25 for tickets.

Amma School Bags were provided to the school students by the government under the brand Amma. It has also provided free laptops to the youth at the same year.

Amma Tea was a product of TANTEA (Tamil Nadu Tea Plantation Corporation Limited) but now plans to sell under the name of Amma brand.

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