CLAIMING THAT commission of fair price shop (FPS) owners was dwindling due to discontinuation of a number of supplies to APL-card holders, Gujarat Fair Price Shop Association (GFPSA) president Prahlad Joshi on Thursday demanded that the government pay Rs20,000 maintenance to such shops so that shop-owners and their families “can lead a dignified life”.
“Since 2010, distribution of wheat, rice, sugar, edible oil etc among those holding APL cards has been discontinued. This has led to a progressive decrease in commission earnings of 17,000 fair price shop owners. Additionally, the kerosene distribution quota, which was 12 litres (per family) initially, was reduced to eight litres, then to four litres before it was eventually discontinued altogether. Shop owners are forced to run their shops amid dwindling commission amounts,” Modi, who is younger brother to Prime
Minister Narendra Modi, stated in the memorandum submitted to the Rajkot district collector on behalf of Rajkot City and District Fair Price Shop Association. Modi said that present commission earnings were not enough for 17,000 fair price shop owners of the state to cover recurring costs of running shops and demanded that shop owners be given monthly fixed maintenance of Rs 20,000.
“Present levels of earnings are not sufficient to cover shop rent, salary of computer operator as well as salary of shop operator… The present commission is not sufficient for sustenance of shop owner. Therefore, it is our feeling and demand that commission rates be increased or government pay R s20,000 towards salary of tolat (person weighing commodities), computer operator and rent of the shop,” Modi stated.
The GFPSA president also demanded that fair price shop owners be treated at par with government employees and be extended benefits like regular monthly salary and increment and allowances from time to time.
He also demanded that FPS be allowed to sell cooking gas cylinders as well as other articles of daily usage so that owners can earn extra. He also demanded that FPS should also be allotted the work of filing online applications for availing benefits of welfare schemes of government.
He also said that actual weight of commodities delivered on the door of the shop generally tended to be less than mentioned in government records and that to correct this anomaly, weighbridges should be installed at godowns.