Unfair rice prices by fair price ration shops

COVID-19 National

Government fair price ration shops have been selling rice at high prices amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in various areas of Jamshedpur.

By Abhinav Kumar

Jamshedpur: Residents of various areas in Jamshedpur have complained that essential commodities like rice are being provided at a higher price than allowed by the government.

Rishav Tulsyan, a resident of the Adityapur area, Jamshedpur said, “In our area, rice is being sold at Rs.12 per Kg, but the government rate list says that it must be sold at one rupee per kilograms. When we questioned the fair price shop owners about the price disparity, they ignored us saying that we must approach the government, not them.”

Piyush Verma, a resident of the Kandra area, Jamshedpur said, “We are also facing a similar problem of overpriced rice, available in the fair-price ration shops here.”

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had announced on March 26 that the government has decided to provide two months of ration in advance to the beneficiaries of the public distribution system, as the country entered the lockdown phase due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The state government had also issued a rate-chart of essential items at the public distribution outlets, following reports that a few ration shops were charging higher for the commodities, while others were selling them in the black market—taking advantage of the lockdown.

Yogendra Kumar Singh, Sub-divisional Secretary of Food Corporation of India (FCI), Jharkhand, said, “We do not have any shortage of rice and grains in FCI. Anyone selling ration at a higher price than mentioned in the rate-list must be reported to the police.”

However, Shaddan Ahmad, a resident of Telco area, Jamshedpur, said, “In our area, we are getting rice at one rupee per Kg—at the same price which the government had fixed.”

Rajdhan Singh, who runs a fair price shop in Sakchi, said, “We do not have adequate supply of rice. It is the main reason many fair price shops are selling ration at high prices.”

Abdul Sattar, Chief Functionary of the NGO Hind Welfare Foundation, said: “This is a crucial phase for everyone, but fair price ration shops cannot sell essential commodities at a high price. The government authorities must take strict action.”


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