The Madhya Pradesh government will soon prepare a draft to sell Patanjali products at its fair price shops across the state to make such outlets profitable, multi-utility and increase employment. Following the preparation of the draft, the state will hold talks with co-founder Baba Ramdev on the mega proposal.
Minister of state for cooperatives Vishwas Sarang, speaking at a press conference in the city, confirmed the same, adding that the suggestion had been made during a two-day brainstorming workshop organised for strengthening the role of cooperative societies in the state.
Sarang also thanked chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who had made the suggestion on Friday.
The minister also rejected allegations made by the Congress, which had accused the state government of favouring Ramdev as he is close to the RSS. “I want to ask Congress leaders — don’t they use Ramdev Baba’s products? Ramdev Baba’s products are good in quality. So just linking this issue with one particular ideology is objectionable,” he said.
At the press conference, Sarang said that the cooperatives department will open up fair price shops for building materials, a first such initiative in the state, to help people buy building materials at cheaper rates. He said the government will talk with cement companies and procure materials in bulk.
He said a detailed report on the two-day brainstorming workshop will be available within three days and an action plan for the same will be prepared. He said a six-month calendar has been prepared by the department for the implementation of the decisions taken during the brainstorming workshop.
“After six months there will be another brainstorming workshop, in which we will review what we have achieved. We have also set up an innovation wing in the department, which will make a roadmap for the next two years,” he said.
Sarang also denied that the sale of Patanjali products could affect the local herbal industry like Vindhya Herbals (a unit of the MP state minor forest produce cooperative federation) Sarang said that the state government will also sell products of Vindhya Herbals and MP’s milk brand Sanchi from the fair price shops. “Our aim is to make fair price shops multi-utility and profitable so that they generate more employment,” he said.
Under public distribution system, food grains like wheat and rice are delivered to fair price shops run by cooperative societies. There are 21346 fair price shops in the state, according state cooperatives department website.