Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today asserted that Amma canteens, offering low-cost food, were service oriented for welfare of the poor and would continue to be administered well as before. The usage of the term ‘loss’ was not correct, he told reporters here when asked about reports that the government was contemplating sizing down the number of the canteens, named after late chief minister Jayalalithaa, in view of reported loss made by them. “Government is giving funds and Amma Canteens are being run. There is no question of loss or profit,” he said.
Stressing that the food-chain was a service-oriented initiative, he said it was announced by Jayalalithaa to ensure that the “poor, economically weaker sections and labourers have a filling meal.” He said the “Amma’s (AIADMK) government” was taking all steps to see that such a scheme aimed at helping the poor continued to be administered well as before. Answering a question, he said the state continued to exert pressure on the Centre on exempting the state from the National Entrance Cum Eligibility Test (NEET).
A delegation of state ministers had last week met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some of his cabinet colleagues on the issue, over which opposition parties have accused the Palaniswami regime of failure to protect the interest of the state students.