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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Kerala Stores to be launched next month- Mrit News

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Nearly 1,000 ration outlets in remote locations in the State will soon become multi-service centres that will be known as Kerala Stores (or K-Stores).

The K-Stores will provide ATM services that will enable users to withdraw up to ₹5,000, utility services, bill payment facility, various e-services that are being provided by Akshaya centres, cooking gas, and include Supplyco outlets and Milma booths.

Announcing the endeavour while inaugurating the Civil Supplies Department’s diamond jubilee celebrations here on Saturday, Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.R. Anil said the stores would prove to be beneficial for the residents of rural areas that lacked ATMs, banks, Akshaya centres, Milma outlets, Supplyco stores and gas agencies.

In the first phase, one K-Store will be launched in each district. The initiative that is part of efforts to modernise public distribution outlets will be formally launched in June, he said.

He raised caution on the various challenges facing the State in public distribution due to the Centre’s policies. The significant cut in wheat allocation is bound to lead to shortage in food availability since the move will deny wheat supply for non-priority ration cardholders. The Centre has also reduced the allocation of kerosene that was being provided to the fisherfolk and other underprivileged sections.

Mr. Anil said the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had issued 2,14,274 new ration cards within a year. These included 1,53,242 cards that were provided to priority sections after being surrendered by ineligible cardholders. While there were nearly 93 lakh ration cardholders in the State, 96.7% of the cards have been seeded with Aadhaar cards in the State.

Programmes lasting a year have been planned to mark the 60th anniversary of the Civil Supplies Department. The diamond jubilee logo and official song were released on the occasion.

The Minister gave away awards to the best-performing officers and other employees. The Alappuzha district supply office was selected the best in the State during 2021-22. Alappuzha district supply officer M.S. Beena bagged the award for the best district supply officer.

The other awardees were Udumbanchola supply officer T. Saheer (best taluk supply officer), Mallappally (best taluk supply office) and Perinthalmanna rationing inspector S. Satheesh (best rationing inspector).

Thiruvananthapuram Deputy Mayor P.K. Raju presided over the function. Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) Tinku Biswal, Civil Supplies Commissioner D. Sajith Babu, poet Prabha Varma, music composers Jassie Gift, Ronnie Raphael and actor Nandu also participated in the function.

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