Hyderabad: FP shops selling only rice to cash in on growing demand
 FP shops selling only rice to cash in on growing demand 

Rajendranagar: As the PDS rice is in high demand in the black market, the Fair Price Shops (FPS) dealers in Rajendranagar under Saroornagar section are procuring only rice, making light of the poor people who prefer wheat over rice as their staple food.

It is said that most dealers in Rajendranagar are procuring only rice from the godowns every month which is being provided by the government for free and seldom rush to procure wheat as the grain is having no demand in black market.

"We are having regular stocks of wheat alongside the rice but most of the dealers are asking only for rice while a handful of them go for wheat. Ninety per cent of them procuring only rice meant for free distribution," informed an official at a State-run Rice Godown.

Procuring PDS rice, reportedly ensures the dealers a double return wherein the government pays them 75 paisa commission per quintal while the black market lends them a good price of the PDS rice. Though there is a provision of wheat supply from the government to ensure nutritional balance among the masses, the FP shop dealers largely avoid procuring the spelt, finding that the grain lacks a question in the murky trade.

As most of the time only rice is being sold through the FPS, poor people are forced to sell the grain back to the agents for a paltry amount while the grain is being sold on upward prices in neighbouring States like Maharashtra, Karnataka etc, through a safe route. The smugglers involved in PDS rice smuggling generally use underage children from poor families to transport the grain and provide them old or obsolete vehicles to avoid police checks.

Most of the illegal PDS transportation cases are from Rajendranagar areas where police often catch the illegal rice transporters mainly children from areas such as Hassannagar, Sulemannagar, Chiltelmet, Katedhan, Tatanagar, Attapur and Kishanbagh. There is an element of plausibility in poor people selling back the extra rice to the agents. Unable to put up with regular rice supply being provided to them for free from FP shops, the people often sell them back to the dealers and get the wheat from the retail market by paying the price they get from the dealers in return.

However, some people who use wheat as well as rice to feed themselves, are now venting frustration over the government for providing only rice from FP shops without knowing that the grain is identically available along with the rice at the state run godowns. It is the agents who are not procuring wheat simply for their own benefit despite there is demand for the spelt in several areas. "We were fed up with the replies of the agent that there is no wheat this time from the government. As only rice is being supplied from the shops for free, what else can we do except to return it back to the dealer on a paltry return," said Laxhmamma, an old lady from Rajendranagr. Affirming the murky affair being prevalent in Rajendranagar, one of the official from assistant supply office saroor nagar section at Rajendranagar said, "Though we are receiving complaints that FPS agent are not providing wheat to the people, but this is how the case is."

Date: 14-Sep-2022