To revive the ailing Amma Canteens in the state, the government has allocated Rs 100 crore for forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in 2020-2021 financial year.
“This path breaking initiative won international accolades and is replicated by a number of other states in India,” he said. Former chief minister J Jayalalithaa inaugurated Amma Canteens on February 19, 2013, to provide healthy and hygienic food to the weaker sections of society at affordable cost.
“The focus on construction workers, who are the largest clientele of Amma Unavagams, will be sharpened by establishing mobile units to transport food to work sites. The SPV will raise Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) contributions from companies and other donations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government will also continue to provide subsidised food grains to run the canteens and grants to the SPV to cover the shortfall between the expenditure incurred and the revenue, contributions and donations received. The allocated Rs 100 Crore will be utilised to form the SPV. As per the records, the Chennai Corporation has incurred a loss of around Rs 483.75 crore since the scheme launched in 2013-2014 financial year. Surprisingly, the income from the canteens have been decreasing over the years, despite the number of canteens increasing to 407 from 207.
In 2014-2015, as many as 207 canteens made an income of Rs 40.52 crore, whereas the civic body only managed to earn Rs 24.87 crore in 2018-2019 that too with 407 canteens.