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Transforming Fair Price Shops: A Step towards Kushal Bharat and Digital India

Transforming Fair Price Shops: A Step towards Kushal Bharat and Digital India

New Delhi:  In a significant move towards aligning Fair Price Shops (FPSs) with the vision of a skilled and digitally empowered India, the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DoF&PD) has inked two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key stakeholders.

The first MoU, signed on March 14, saw the collaboration between the DoF&PD and the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD) under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). The pact aims to address skill development challenges faced by FPS dealers, focusing on digital literacy, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial skills essential for adapting to market changes and exploring new business avenues.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary of the Department of Food & Public Distribution, emphasized the importance of enhancing entrepreneurial capabilities among FPS owners. He noted that such improvements could lead to expanded services, heightened customer satisfaction, and additional income streams.

The second MoU, signed on March 15, involved a partnership between the DoF&PD and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI). This collaboration aims to provide working capital assistance to FPSs through SIDBI’s GST Sahay application, facilitating a credit model for selling non-PDS commodities.

Highlighting the government’s vision,  Chopra announced plans to introduce pilot programs aimed at transforming FPSs into nutrition hubs and smart outlets. These initiatives seek to leverage technology for streamlined operations and offer a diverse range of nutrient-rich non-PDS commodities to the public.

Prakash Kumar, Deputy Managing Director of SIDBI, expressed pride in the institution’s association with the program, emphasizing its commitment to supporting micro and small businesses.

The MoUs represent a breakthrough in capacity building and investment opportunities for FPSs, promising to elevate employability and enhance the livelihoods of FPS dealers across the country.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution has been steadfast in its efforts to strengthen food security in the nation. Recent initiatives include a pilot project to onboard FPSs onto the Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC), providing them visibility in the digital marketplace and access to a wider customer base.

The All-India Dealers Federation, represented by Shri Saurabh Gupta, welcomed the initiatives, underscoring their potential to benefit both FPS dealers and citizens.

With these strategic collaborations, India takes a significant step towards realizing the vision of a skilled, empowered, and digitally advanced nation, transforming Fair Price Shops into vibrant hubs of economic activity and public service.

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