The Indian government has taken a pioneering step by integrating 11 fair price shops onto the Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform. This initiative aims to enhance consumer access to essential food items and foster inclusivity in the e-commerce landscape.
Onboarding Fair Price Shops
The Centre has initiated the onboarding process of 11 fair price shops onto the ONDC platform, marking a significant milestone. These fair price shops are managed by the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) and are currently in a pilot stage.
Objectives and Scope
The primary objective of this initiative is to broaden consumer access to government-supported food items through fair price shops while promoting an inclusive e-commerce ecosystem. The pilot project encompasses five fair price shops in Una district and six in Hamirpur, with plans for statewide and nationwide expansion.
While these fair price shops are accessible to all consumers, excluding beneficiaries of specific food security schemes, they also play a crucial role in distributing subsidized food grains to individuals both below and above the poverty line.
Future Expansion Plans
Sanjeev Chopra, the secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, expressed optimism about the pilot’s success in Himachal Pradesh, foreseeing its replication in other states. Discussions with multiple states are underway, with expectations of broader participation based on positive pilot outcomes.
Support and Training
In support of the initiative, a workshop was conducted for fair price shop dealers, focusing on aspects such as product cataloging, service order management, and commission structures on the ONDC platform.
Established on December 31, 2021, by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, ONDC functions as a platform-neutral entity dedicated to facilitating digital commerce. Presently operational in approximately 600 cities with 80 service providers onboard, ONDC aims to create an open network for various digital commerce services.
Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs):
- What is the primary aim of integrating fair price shops onto the ONDC platform?
- A) To restrict consumer access to essential food items.
- B) To promote inclusivity in the e-commerce landscape.
- C) To increase prices of government-supported food items.
- D) To limit the expansion of fair price shops.
- How many fair price shops have been initially onboarded onto ONDC in Himachal Pradesh?
- A) 5
- B) 10
- C) 15
- D) 20
- Who manages fair price shops across India?
- A) National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF)
- B) Ministry of Consumer Affairs
- C) Department of Food and Public Distribution
- D) Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade