Fair price shop owners plan stir

BANGALORE Nov. 10. Over 20,000 fair price shops across the State will remain closed on November 18 in protest the "Governments' double standard" with regard to rations for families living below the poverty line (BPL). Addressing presspersons here on Monday, the Karnataka State Government Fair Price Shop Dealers' Association president, S. Rudrappa, said the token strike was in support of the All-India Federation of Fair Price Shop Owners, which was organising a protest demonstration in New Delhi on November 23. Though the Government promised 28 kg of rice, seven kg of wheat, and four litres of kerosene to yellow card holders, the shopkeepers were allotted only 15 kg of rice and five kg of wheat. "The card holders hold us responsible for the reduction in the quota and allege that we are keeping the rest. When the allotment is less, how can we give them 28 kg of rice? This has created confusion among the card holders and the shopkeeper, and should be resolved immediately," he said. In rural areas, the green cards issued earlier were cancelled but the beneficiaries had not been given new cards. Besides, the commission given to the shopkeepers per quintal of the commodity was lower in Karnataka compared to other States. The commission should be increased, he said.

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