Thiruvananthapuram

Akshaya centres to sell goods of private firms?

The State’s Akshaya centres, set up to provide government services for the public, may soon double up as shops to sell products of private players Patanjali Ayurved Limited and Reliance Jio.

Even as steps are progressing towards this direction, officials of the State Akshaya centre, who are not enthusiastic of the plan, have been kept out of the loop as the implementation is done through the Common Service Centres (CSCs).

The Union government had recently reached an understanding with the private players to sell their products through the CSCs, set up under the National e-Governance Plan for service delivery across the country. In Kerala, the Akshaya centres are considered as CSCs. In addition to these Askhaya centres, a few CSCs have been set up across the State.

According to CSC State coordinator Vinod Kuriakose, out of 2,600 Akshaya centres across the State, around 1,300 have already expressed interest in selling products of Patanjali, owned by Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev.

“The two stated aims of the e-Governance project are to bring government services as well as business to citizens across the country, be it urban or rural. The youth who have come forward to run Akshaya centres for the government also need profits to survive. By allowing them to sell these products, they are getting profits and customers even in rural areas can get access to products. The choice is up to them, whether to sell or not. We have conducted a survey among them and a majority are willing to take it,” says Mr.Vinod.

The Village Level Entrepreneurs’ (VLE) Associations will stock the products. The Akshaya centres will accept the orders online and deliver to the customers on the same day. However, P. Balakiran, Director of Akshaya State Project, says that Akshaya has not got any communication regarding the Patanjali plan.

However, P. Balakiran, Director of Akshaya State Project, says that Akshaya has not got any communication regarding the Patanjali plan.



“Akshaya centres are not commercial establishments. Earlier too, we got requests to sell computer peripherals, but we had refused as it goes against the very purpose for which these centres were set up. The entrepreneurs will of course want to optimise their profits, but we cannot change the nature of these centres. Also, they cannot sell products with the existing licenses,” says Mr. Balakiran.



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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 8:33:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/Akshaya-centres-to-sell-goods-of-private-firms/article16074879.ece

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