Kerala ration shop dealers to go on strike from Nov 25; minister intervenes to distribute commission

GR Anil | Photo: Facebook

Thiruvananthapuram: Food and Civil Supplies Minister GR Anil here on Tuesday urged ration dealers in the state to back out from the strike called over non-payment of their commission. He assured them that they will get their payment soon.

A group of ration shop dealers’ associations on Monday warned of an indefinite strike from November 25 to mark their protest. The minister’s statement comes at this juncture.

Minister GR Anil explained the reasons behind the delay in distributing the commission to the ration shop dealers. The government has allocated Rs 216 cr for disbursing the commission. But the civil supplies department needs Rs 102 cr and it had requested finance department for the same. Similarly, the civil supplies department need to raise fund for distributing food grains under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

The food and Civil Supplies department had sought Rs 120 crore from the finance department to meet the expenses for October-November. Apparently, the finance department only allocated Rs 44 crore. As a result, the ration dealers will only get 49 per cent of their commission.

Similarly, the government has not yet settled the dues pertaining to the pandemic special food kit distribution to the dealers, which amounts to Rs 50 crore.

All Kerala Retail Ration Dealers Association had expressed strong protests against such issues. According to them, payments and ration distribution will be disrupted as they are short of funds to meet the operational expenses.

Kerala Ration Employees Unions which are affiliated to CITU and AITUC warned of an intense agitation if the government is not taking a favourable move.

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