Kozhikode: K-stores in Kerala will be inaugurated without 13 subsidised essential items. The government had decided to make available Maveli stores, banking, Akshaya centres, mini gas agencies, Milma booths and ration products at the K-store.
Select ration shops were to be modernised and converted to K-stores. In the first phase, 72 K-stores will begin operations. As many as five stores will be opened in 12 districts and seven in the remaining two. The stores will be inaugurated on November 11.
Earlier, the government had announced that 13 items that are available at a subsidised rate in Maveli stores will be sold at the K-stores. Jaya variety of rice will be available at Rs 25 and eggs for Rs 24 among other items.
The inauguration of the first K-store was scheduled for May 20 but the date was extended to June. The government later decided to inaugurate the store on August 10. An online meeting of the owners of ration shops selected to be converted as K-stores was held ahead of the said inauguration date on August 2. In the meeting attended by the chief minister and the civil supplies minister, it was announced that these stores would open without the essentials.
The ration shop owners filed complaints with the chief minister and others against the decision. In their complaints, they said that excluding essentials from the shops would lead to loss as they had spent huge amounts for renovation purposes. Following this, the date was extended. The government has finally decided to inaugurate the store on November 11 without essential items.
Other organisations in the public distribution systems complained that selling essentials at K-stores will destroy the Maveli store system.
The confusion in who would pay the GST of the subsidised items was the reason for not including distribution of essentials at K-stores.