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Himachal to open subsidised ration shops

Himachal Pradesh,Business/Economy, Thu, 17 Oct 2013 IANS

Shimla, Oct 17 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government will open "Aam Aadmi Ki Dukan" to sell food items on "no-profit, no-loss" basis, state Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali said here Thursday.

He said initially four shops would be opened in Palampur, Kangra, Hamirpur and Mandi towns by next month. Later, all the districts would be covered.

Bali said the government would bring a new policy to tighten the noose around defaulting public distribution system depot holders, mainly responsible for the delay in distribution of subsidised food items being provided by the state.

The policy would be placed for approval in the next cabinet meeting, to be held shortly, he told reporters.

The minister said the new policy would enable the government to cancel license of erring depot holders.

To improve the public distribution system, Bali said the state government sent a Rs.100-crore proposal to the central government for issuing e-ration cards.

The state Sep 20 launched the central government's flagship social welfare scheme Rajiv Gandhi Ann Yojna that enables over 37 lakh people to get monthly subsidised foodgrain.

There are 1,699,225 ration card holders in the state for a population of 6,864,602, said an official of the food and civil supplies department.

The ration card holders include 11.63 lakh people who are above the poverty line.

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