HYDERABAD: Having failed to plug the loopholes in the management of fair price shops (FPS) , the civil supplies department (CSD) has closed down 2,190 FP shops across the state in the past one year.
"Many shops have been sealed and their owners have been suspended after the department, with the vigilance and enforce department, conducted raids on them," said KRBHN Chakravarthy, director, civil supplies department.
The department has closed down 2,190 shops in the past one year, with their owners misappropriating the commodities meant for the beneficiaries of public distribution system (PDS) and selling them in markets at higher prices, he said.
Pointing out that the FP shops have been involved in many other irregularities, Chakravarthy said many FP dealers were found selling the commodities at higher prices than the rate fixed by the state government and the accounts at these shops were also erroneous as the stock registers and ground balance of goods did not match.
"We found a number of FP shops being run by unauthorised persons as the dealers had entrusted them to others for a fixed sum per month," Chakravarthy said adding it has become a cycle of issuing licences to FP shops at one end and sealing them at the other.
Blaming these irregularities on officials, the civil supplies director said, it has come to their notice that the officials are carrying a lax attitude towards checking the malpractice at the FP shops.
Of the 42,540 licensed fair price shops in the state, some 40,350 were in operation. Now, as many as 2,190 have been closed down due to the suspension of dealers or cancellation of licences or the expiry of dealership. A few shops have been closed down due to the death of their owners or withdrawal of ownership. As per the department records, there are 2.29 crore ration card holders in the state including 2 crore BPL beneficiaries (white ration card holders) and 29 lakh pink card holders.