Puducherry

A festival sans gift for PDS beneficiaries

Disappointing state: A message put up on a board at a ration shop in Puducherry.

Disappointing state: A message put up on a board at a ration shop in Puducherry.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

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Shop owners blame delay in arrival of stock at the stores

The eagerly awaited Pongal festival has come and gone, but the gift kits announced by the government for ration cardholders are yet to reach the beneficiaries through Public Distribution System outlets.

A number of fair price shops operated by the Cooperative Department wore a deserted look on Monday with the salesmen waiting for the supplies. A visit by this correspondent to several such shops located in the city showed consumers going back disappointed as the salesmen claimed the allocation of provisions was yet to be done.

The government made an announcement 10 days ago that the Pongal gift packets containing one kg of raw rice, half a kg of green gram, 250 gm of jaggery, 25 gm of cashew and 10 gm of cardamom would be available to all cardholders ahead of the festival.

However, several hiccups and differences of opinion between the Lieutenant Governor and the government created obstacles in the implementation of the scheme in a timely manner.

On Pongal eve, Welfare Minister M. Kandasamy told reporters that the supplies would be reaching the PDS outlets in a couple of days.

Consumers, particularly senior citizens, were seen visiting fair price shops only to learn that the provisions were yet to be delivered.

“How can the government delay the supply of gift packets? If they are not able to supply the gifts, they should not have made promises. We are tired of visiting the shops every day,” S. Kasturi, a cardholder, said.

‘Hasty announcement’

A fair price shop owner in Boulevard said the government had come out with the announcement hastily without finalising the procurement order. “With the delay in arrival of stock at the fair price shops, we are now facing the wrath of consumers,” he said.

Another salesman at a fair price shop in Mudaliarpet said the government had supplied jaggery alone while the other items were yet to be delivered.

“We cannot deliver the provisions in instalments to the cardholders. Planning was not done properly and it is still not known when all the five items would be available,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:18:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/a-festival-sans-gift-for-pds-beneficiaries/article22445477.ece

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