After a collaboration with Kishore Biyani’s Future Group, which gave a facelift to more than 5,000 fair prices shops (FPSs), the Rajasthan government has given its nod for revamp of another 2,500 FPSs, where quality FMCG goods will be made available to rural consumers at lower prices.
Since last one year or so, FPSs — which have been revamped as Annapurna Bhandars — have been selling around 250-odd FMCG products supplied by Future Group.
According to a state government official, Public Distribution System (PDS) outlets used to sell only a limited number of products such as wheat, rice, sugar and kerosene. Earlier, most of the footfall in these outlets used to be in the first 10 days of the month when families covered under the National Food Security Act and other social sector schemes would visit the outlets. However, following the revamp of such outlets, the footfall has improved significantly, thus ensuring higher income for the outlet owners.
“We will be revamping another 2,500 FPSs as Annapurna Bhandars by the end of this year,” Subodh Agarwal, principal secretary, state food and civil supplies department, told FE. The state government plans to revamp more FPSs out of the total 25,000 FPSs into Annapurna Bhandars as per the demand from the consumers. The official said, on an average people who run fair price shops have increased their monthly income by R3,000 or about 45% by selling around 250 FMCG products through Annapurna Bhandars.
Over a year ago, the Rajasthan State Food and Civil Supplies Corporation (RSFCSC) had signed a tripartite agreement with Future Group and outlet owners, where it fixed prices of the commodities in a way that the benefits of discounted prices are shared between the outlet owners and consumers. The Future Group gets access to a captive consumer base at these outlets; RSFCSC charges only 1% service charge from the firm which is used for promotional activities.
“We did not invite FMCG companies for these bids as we wanted to give rural consumers access to a wide range of products from Future Group to supply non-perishable daily use products — from salt to toothpaste — at discounted prices fixed by RSFCSC,” a state government official said.
The task of the Vasundhara
Raje government was to identify the outlets connected by roads and where the owner was willing to invest R25,000-R50,000 to refurbish the outlets.