Andhra Pradesh chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu has decided to hand over gift hampers to 1.3 crore families for Sankranti, which is expected to cost the state exchequer Rs 300 crore.
Calling it 'Chandranna Sankranti Kanuka', Naidu plans to give away a gift pack each to people living below the poverty line.
A report in the Times of India adds that "the proposed gift pack worth Rs 280 would contain half a kilo each of red gram, palmolein oil and jaggery, one kilo each of whole Bengal gram, wheat flour and 100 gm of ghee. This would be in addition to the regular items given through public distribution system such as 20 kg rice, one kilo wheat, half kilo sugar and kerosene."
"Last year, there were complaints over the quality of commodities and packaging. This time, we have taken all precautions to provide fine quality commodities in a leak-proof packet," a senior official in civil supplies department told TOI.
This comes at the time when the state is reeling from a severe cash crunch and has ordered all departments to stop asking for funds except to pay out salaries for its employees.
The state also has a revenue deficit of more than Rs 16,000 crore post bifurcation.
Earlier this month, the TDP government put certain restrictions on foreign trips by officers, ministers and legislators, a ban on business class travel, a ceiling on hotel expenses and use of fancy cars for official trips.
The gift pack may cost more this year with prices of almost all commodities recording an increase in the last year.