The Minister of Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Botcha Satyanarayana, has cleared the air on the fate of Anna Canteens in Andhra Pradesh. Countering the speculations that the canteens will be shut down across the state, the YSRCP leader has stated that the government has no such plans.
Responding to a question raised by a TDP member during the Question Hour in the Assembly on Tuesday, Mr. Satyanarayana said, “There are 183 Anna Canteens across the state that are offering food at subsidised prices. These were set up hurriedly before the elections. I have run through the related files and found that there was no objective for setting up these canteens. I have also noticed that the canteens were built wherever a piece of government land was available. Some canteens are not even serving the purpose.”
The Minister further added, “We aren’t shutting these canteens down. But we will study the usefulness of Anna Canteens and review the suitable places where they should be set up. We will reorganise the scheme and streamline the functioning of the canteens. This will benefit many people.”
On the other hand, a few reports have claimed that the YSRCP government might relaunch the Anna Canteens by rebranding them as ‘Rajanna Canteens’.
The TDP government had launched Anna Canteens in 2018. The initiative provided meals at Rs 5. However, with the YSRCP taking charge of the government in Andhra Pradesh, there have been allegations on the opposition that the canteens did not benefit the poor.