TURA, March 14: Despite services crucial to one of the most essential of services, PDS dealers as well as wholesalers have been struggling to make ends meet even as close to 19 months of transport reimbursements are due to them.
The struggle to support their families came to light after a visit to various PDS dealers and wholesalers who spoke of how difficult life had become.
“We have been religiously providing monthly supply to card holders after using our own money to pick up the material from the wholesalers. How much can we spend each month from our own pocket? We desperately need to be reimbursed or we will just have to go hungry,” said one of the PDS dealers from Tura on condition of anonymity.
PDS dealers further stated that they are charging only the requisite amount for commodities and as such have no scope of any extra income.
“Rice is being bought and sold at the same price (Rs 3 for NSF cards) and is being distributed on time. We distribute rice, sugar as well as SK oil to beneficiaries. There is no scope for us to save anything,” said another dealer.
PDS dealers and wholesalers are paid Rs 120 per quintal as carriage charges
A similar situation was narrated by wholesalers as well who say that the delay is causing them sleepless nights.
“We hope the government understands our plight and releases the money due to us. We have been struggling to make ends meet as our dues are now in lakhs of rupees. We are not sure how much longer we can continue without our service being hit,” said a wholesaler who also did not want to be named.
Interestingly from the coming financial year (April, 2019), the pressure on wholesalers is set to increase further as they will now have to undertake doorstep delivery to PDS shops for distribution to beneficiaries.