Ration goods dealers from all over Prakasam district thronged the Prakasam Bhavan here on Tuesday in protest against direct cash transfer scheme mooted by the UPA-II in a bid to plug loopholes in the delivery mechanism.

The dealers led by Prakasam district Ration Dealers Association president K.Subba Rao came in a huge procession to the arterial Church centre to press also for a hike in commission to 33 per cent.

Instead of cutting down on subsidies on food, the Government should extend the Public Distribution System(PDS) to above poverty line people in a period of high inflation, they felt.

Cash transfers to replace public goods as such would not cover the increased costs of the food articles in view of galloping inflation. This would result in malnutrition, they felt.

Fearing loss of livelihood for themselves as and when the new system is grounded, they wanted the state government to pay monthly salary as in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.