Consumerfed (Kerala State Cooperative Consumer Federation Limited) is making yet another intervention in the market to keep prices of essential commodities under control. A project, Nanma, has been finalised and 10,000 such outlets will be opened in the State.
While three Nanma outlets have started functioning (at Vellikulam, Peypathi, and Chalakudy), another 2,000 such stores will start functioning in April in the first phase of the project.
Riji G. Nair, managing director of Consumerfed, told The Hindu the target of 10,000 Nanma outlets would be achieved in five years.
He said Nanma was a cooperative public distribution system (CPDS) and it was the first time in the country that the cooperative sector was making such a big intervention in the market to keep the prices of essential commodities under control.
“But the CPDS is not one that counters the public distribution system (PDS). It is one that complements the PDS,” Mr. Nair said.
Rural areas will be the prime targets of the Nanma project, Mr. Nair said. The stores would sell 10 essential commodities at 20 per cent below the market price. The items are four grades of rice, sugar, coconut oil, dry chilli, green gram, urud dal, and coriander. Mr. Nair said other grocery items would be sold at 10 per cent below the market price. Each store would have 350 different products, which included branded stationery and cosmetic items.
Mr. Nair said Nanma stores were not dependent on government subsidy. “It is the gains of a central purchasing system that is being passed on to the customers. Government help is sought only to provide infrastructure for the Nanma network.”
He said each store would provide employment to two persons and cooperatives would be motivated to start Nanma stores. “Consumerfed will undertake door delivery of items and give commission of 4 per cent on groceries and 8 per cent on stationery and cosmetics to the store operators. Already, 1,500 applications from cooperative societies to run Nanma stores have reached Consumerfed,” Mr. Nair said.