PUNE: Irked by continuing complaints over the illegal sale of essential items by ration shop-owners, the state government has decided to hand over management of food and civil supply distribution to the Mahila Bachat Gaat (MBG) — a women’s small savings group.
This move has sent jitters through the 50,000 ration shops across the state. Once implemented, it could mean that the licences of the owners — including the licence to sell kerosene — will be revoked.
State minister for food and civil supplies Sunil Tatkare held a meeting in Pune on Monday to work out the details of the new system.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he clarified that the proposal to hand over the management to MBGs will be executed in a phased manner and only after analysing the performance of the MBGs in tribal areas.
Tatkare said that there have been numerous complaints that ration shop-owners illegally stock essential items, particularly sugar and kerosene.
These are provided to the shops at subsidised rates for distribution to poor families. However, these items are illegally sold at market rates, leading to cases of malnutrition in tribal areas.