Centre mulls sale of small LPG cylinders at ration shop

Centre mulls sale of small LPG cylinders at ration shops

There are around 5.26 lakh fair price shops in the country through which subsidised foodgrains under the National Food Security Act are distributed

Representative image. Credit: PTI File photo

In a bid to enhance the financial viability of ration shops, the government on Wednesday proposed retail sale of small LPG cylinders through these outlets across the country.

The government was also exploring collaboration between Common Service Centres (CSC) and fair price shops to provide e-governance services to the people.

“Plan for retail selling of LPG cylinders through FPS on anvil. States/UTs to sensitise the FPS dealers on the same,” Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said on Twitter.

There are around 5.26 lakh fair price shops in the country through which subsidised foodgrains under the National Food Security Act are being distributed to the poor beneficiaries.

The issue came up for discussion during a meeting that Food and Public Distribution Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey had with representatives of various state governments.

Representatives from the ministries of electronics and IT; finance; and petroleum and natural gas also attended the meeting.

Officials from Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) as well as CSC e-Governance Services India Limited (CSC) were also present.

The oil marketing companies said they would extend necessary support for the same in coordination with interested state/UT governments, an official statement said.

In the meeting, the food secretary stressed on the need for taking proactive measures for enhancing the financial viability of FPSs.

The state governments said the collaboration with common service centres (CSC) will increase the viability of FPS.

They also mentioned that they would coordinate with CSC to review feasibility according to local requirements.

On the proposal to offer financial services via FPS, representatives from the Department of Financial Services (DFS) informed that the necessary support would be provided for the same in coordination with interested states.

The government is planning to extend MUDRA loans to FPS dealers for capital augmentation, the statement added.

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