Ben­e­fi­cia­ries hit as 66 fair price shops shut in Pan­vel

Shop­keep­ers com­plain about high rentals, trans­port cost

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Tas­neem Kausar ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

PAN­VEL: Ris­ing prop­erty prices, rentals and in­creased trans­porta­tion cost along with re­duced mar­gins is mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to run fair price shops in Pan­vel, At least 66 fair price shops are re­ported to have shut down in the taluka re­cently.

This has re­sulted in ad­di­tional load on the other fair price shops, af­fect­ing the dis­tri­bu­tion of grains and other com­modi­ties in the re­gion. The in­creas­ing num­ber of com­plaints to the food sup­plies depart­ment has the of­fi­cials and per­son­nel wor­ried.

Mean­while, per­mis­sion has been given for 13 new shops in the taluka.

In the ru­ral ar­eas, there is a huge rush at th­ese shops as peo­ple are de­pen­dent on the sup­ply of their quota of wheat, rice and sugar from th­ese shops.

There are over 60,000 ben­e­fi­cia­ries of food se­cu­rity scheme. They get 25 kg of rice at Rs3 a kg and 10 kg of food grains for Rs2. APL and BPL ben­e­fi­cia­ries get 3kg of rice and 2kg of wheat at the same price.

APL card hold­ers get 10 kg of rice and 5 kg of wheat at Rs9.60 a kg and Rs7.20 a kg re­spec­tively. Apart from this, tur dal, palm oil and sugar is also given.

The shop­keeper is the mid­dle­man be­tween the food sup­plies depart­ment and the ben­e­fi­cia­ries. How­ever, with the shop­keep­ers not get­ting much of a mar­gin, they have shut their shops while oth­ers are plan­ning to shut shop soon.

Shashikant Waghmare, ra­tioning of­fi­cer, Pan­vel, said, “Some shops in Pan­vel taluka have shut down. We have di­rected sup­plies to those vil­lages from al­ter­na­tive shops.”

Waghmare said, “As per the high court or­der, the shops should be given to self- help groups ( SHGs). How­ever, they do not con­firm to the norms. There are sev­eral anom­alies in their ap­pli­ca­tions and hence it be­comes dif­fi­cult to grant per­mis­sion for new shops.”

He said, “The shop­keep­ers are up­set about high rentals, ve­hi­cle cost and so on.”

The food sup­plies depart­ment has is­sued ad­ver­tise­ments, invit­ing SHGs to run fair price shops.

While some SHGs are reg­is­tered, they do not have the fi­nan­cial ca­pa­bil­ity, oth­ers do not have all the req­ui­site doc­u­ments. Sev­eral ap­pli­ca­tions sub­mit­ted are in­com­plete.

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