Kozhikode: The representatives of the All Kerala Retail Ration Dealers Association said that if the commission package of ration dealers is not revised, about 3,000 ration shops with an income below Rs 15,000 will be closed down due to financial burden.
State general secretary T Muhammedali stated that as of January, about 3,000 shop owners have not received even the minimum commission of Rs 18,000 as per the package. The income of 195 shop owners is less than Rs 10,000. With the discontinuation of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna, the ration income has halved.
Traders added that when the commission package was introduced in 2018, it was said that it would be reviewed within six months, but this did not happen.
Earlier, people from poor families used to get 5 kg of rice per person. A family of 10 used to receive 50 kg of rice. Red card holders were given 100 kg of parboiled rice and yellow card holders used to receive 70 kg. The sales increased 40 per cent with this. This stopped in January, which worsened the crisis.
Ration shops are being operated by paying a rent of Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000. The shop owners are struggling to pay salaries to salesmen and meet the rising expenses.
The ration shop owners also said that they were thinking on a strike as the commission package has not been reassessed even after six years.