Delhiites can now recharge their mobile phones, DTH cards, book tickets and buy many other things at Fair Price Shops (FPS) in the city with the Delhi government liberalising the policy for sale of goods and services through these outlets for subsidised rations.
In a bid to improve the viability of the FPS as well as providing convenience to the ration card holders who visit these shops to get their monthly quota, the Department of Food, Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Government of NCT of Delhi has completely liberalised the policy of sale of various goods and services through the fair price shops.
"The new policy is the most liberal in the country," said Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs Sajjan Singh Yadav, adding the step has provided a major relief to the 2500 FPS licensee in the city who were constantly complaining about lack of viability of their shops.
So far, the FPS licensee was allowed to sell only the Specified Food Articles (SFAs) provided under the Public Distribution System (PDS) and a few other items. But according to the new policy, which has come into operation from Friday, September 5, a Fair Price Shop can sell any goods or service except eight prohibited items.
The new policy has provided a huge business opportunity to the FPS licensees who can now sell unlimited number of goods and provided vast number of services through the FPS depending on the locality and consumers' demand as well as the interest, capability and skill sets of the FPS licensee and his employees.
Now there will be incentive to the FPS licensee to keep his shop open throughout the business hours as he can now expect a large number of other customers apart from ration card holders.
"From now the FPS licensee can also provide services from their premises. One will be able to get services including financial services through the micro-ATM, recharge of mobile phone and DTH cards, tours and travel services and so on. The FPS licensee may become Business Correspondents of various banks to provide the financial services," he said.
Yadav said that the licensee in the city were constantly complaining about lack of viability of their shops due to low profit margin on the sale of SFAs and restricted policy regarding sale of other goods by the FPS.
In view of high shop rentals and manpower cost in Delhi, they were not able to break even under the existing policy, the licensees had complained.
"The new policy will be beneficial to the ration card holders who frequently complain about non opening of FPS. Besides, to attract more customers, the FPS licensees may renovate and give new look to the FPS. Ration card holders will also have option to buy their other necessities from the FPS thus saving their time," the official said.
In view of safety, security and to prevent diversion of SFAs, sale of some specific items through FPS outlet will be strictly prohibited. These prohibited items include wheat flour, wheat maida, rice flour, Suji, all explosive items which require License for sale/stock, drugs, alcohol and alcoholic substances.
Besides, poisonous substances such as insecticides, pesticides, rodent killer, fungicides, items which make the SFA unfit for consumption either by odour or by physical mixing, eatables items which require preparation on the spot such as Halwai Shop, Dhaba, Tea Stall etc. and meat and meat products will also not sold on FPS.
Yadav also said that the goods and services which require license can be sold only after obtaining requisite license from the competent authority.
"For sale of other goods and providing other services, the FPS licensee shall not compromise with the storage capacity for SFAs in any manner," he said.
They shall have to maintain sufficient space for storage and sale of SFAs. The storage capacity for SFAs should be sufficient to accommodate at least one month's allocation capacity. Moreover, on the pretext of permission for sale of other items, FPS holder shall not be allowed to keep or store SFAs at any place other than the FPS, he added.