Puducherry

Papsco bazaars a no-show this year too

PUDUCHERRY, 23 Oct. 2019: (TO GO ALONG WITH STORY) The ground near the Retail Marketing Committee in Thattanchavady served as the location for the annual Deepavali bazaar in Puducherry. The bazaar has not been operational for the second consecutive year due to fund crunch and non-settlement of dues in Puducherry on Wednesday. Photo: S.S. Kumar / The Hindu

PUDUCHERRY, 23 Oct. 2019: (TO GO ALONG WITH STORY) The ground near the Retail Marketing Committee in Thattanchavady served as the location for the annual Deepavali bazaar in Puducherry. The bazaar has not been operational for the second consecutive year due to fund crunch and non-settlement of dues in Puducherry on Wednesday. Photo: S.S. Kumar / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

Funds crunch and mounting losses prevent the government unit from setting up temporary outlets

Funds crunch has stopped Puducherry Agro Products, Food and Civil Supplies Corporation (Papsco) from organising Deepavali bazaars this year as well.

Started in 2003, the objective of the bazaars was to provide groceries and crackers at a price less than that prevalent in the market during festivals, especially Deepavali and Pongal.

However, these bazaars could not be organised since 2018 for various reasons, including poor financial health of the government-owned Papsco.

“The bazaars were jointly run by Papsco and the Cooperation Department not only in Puducherry but also in the outlying region of Karaikal. However, the department is yet to disburse an estimated ₹18 crores due to the government undertaking for holding the bazaar.

The Papsco’s losses have piled up over the years and it has no funds to hold the bazaar on its own, officials said pointing to the fact that the undertaking was yet to pay ₹2 crore outstanding to traders who had supplied essential commodities to the bazaar.

The department has not released any funds to the Papsco to hold the bazaars for the second consecutive year, an official said, on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the construction workers have also not been issued the “gift coupons” in the context of the forthcoming Deepavali festival.

No freebies yet

Uncertainty prevails over the distribution of free dhotis and saris to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes for the festival.

Ration cardholders, who were getting two kg each of rice and sugar during the festival, are also in a piquant situation as the government is yet to come out with any announcement.

“The implementation of the model code of conduct for the bypoll to Kamaraj Nagar Assembly constituency and lack of preparatory steps to distribute rice and sugar through fair price shops are the reasons,” said an official. “It is not certain whether the cardholders will get free rice and sugar since only a few days are left for the festival,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 12:56:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/papsco-bazaars-a-no-show-this-year-too/article29780630.ece

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