This is the phase of a makeover for the state of Rajasthan as the Chief Minister Smt. Vasundhara Raje has initiated several welfare programs for people. She has introduced some innovative Government schemes to hold hands with progress and boost the economy of Rajasthan. It is the result of her efforts and government schemes that the investors are regaining interest in the state.
In the same direction of growth, CM Raje has launched a unique and first of its kind drive in the country in form of ‘Annapurna Bhandar Yojna’. This is an exclusive scheme started in Rajasthan on ‘Public Private Partnership’ concept. The Rajasthan Government signed a partnership agreement with a private company to provide multi-brand daily consumer products on the Fair Price Shops (FPS) all over the state. This Yojna is aimed to re-invent the Multi-brand rural retail deals. It would not only provide food grains and other consumable items through the public distribution system (PDS) but is also an ambitious attempt to modernize it.
The idea of forming this Public Private Partnership (PPP) was to enhance the trust of rural Rajasthan on the PDS. Also, the villagers and rural people will be able to purchase quality consumer products at competitive prices. It is the need of the hour to strengthen the PDS so that the basic infrastructure of the state regarding PDS gains the confidence of people. The food items like edible oil, pulses, jaggery and spices, pickles, flour, etc. will now be made available to consumers at the Fair Price Shops (FPS). The Rajasthan Government makes sure that more than 150 quality brands are available to the people at ‘Annapurna Bhandar’.
There are around 25,000 Annapurna Bhandars to be constructed all over the state and the first shop was inaugurated by Smt. Vasundhara Raje at Bhambori Village. It would surely be of great help to the people living in rural areas of the state as they could choose from the brands and purchase quality products without turning to cities. The prices of these products are also kept reasonable. The first phase included the construction of 5000 FPS – 1000 each in Jaipur, Udaipur, and Jodhpur division while 500 each in the rest of the divisions by March 2016. These shops are not converted with the motive of creating rural malls rather it is aimed for the dual benefit of people and others associated with retail, by providing them supermarkets next door. Through these shops, people will get better quality consumer goods within their access along with providing employment to the youth and giving them a chance of becoming entrepreneurs with Annapurna Bhandars. The margin of discount on branded products will be shared in the 3:2 ratios between the consumers and the dealer in this scheme. Profit earning is not the motive of these supermarkets and they would work to ensure reasonable profits and reasonable prices with high customer satisfaction. This attempt will bring a positive change in the daily life of people as they would get the access to a better standard of living. More than 5000 FPS dealers will become a part of India’s biggest entrepreneurship drive with the assistance from Central Government.
For this dream to become reality, Rajasthan Government entered into PPP with Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd (FCEL), which is a Future Group company. At present, more than 10 FPS are operational and others are coming underway. Not only this, the dealers will also be imparted with modern Retail Management training by Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd. Being a private enterprise contract, the scheme’s focus will lie upon the supply of quality and better service to the customers. The latest management practices and up gradation of FPS are the areas to work upon. Along with the items listed in the PDS category, the Annapurna Bhandars will also sell food items like rava, maida, besan, including other daily healthcare and hygiene products and more.
The attempt of Rajasthan Government to transform the Public Distribution System into Country’s first modernized supermarket in villages is truly commendable. The launch of Annapurna Bhandars saw the unique multi-brand rural outlet consisting products of a small bank, ration shops, grocery shops and seeds outlet. This modern up gradation to reach out to the people in urban, semi-rural and rural areas has strengthened the trust for Raje Government in the heart of people of Rajasthan. It is a new chapter in the renowned skill development initiatives of Rajasthan by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.