ALL INDIA FAIR PRICE SHOP DEALERS' FEDERATION was formed by a resolution taken on 16th March in the year 2003 at a Convention held at Yubharati Krirangan, Salt Lake, Kolkata which was attended by eminent personalities from all walks of life including Dr. Avijit Sen, Noted Economist.
The unity of the Fair Price Shop Dealers and formation of the Federation was considered to be a matter of dire necessity and survival of not only the Dealers but the Consumers in general because of the anti-people and ante-PDS policies taken by the erstwhile NDA Govt. increasing the PDS prices of foodgrains, allowing export of foodgrains at cheaper rates depriving Indian Consumers and the withdrawal of Levy Sugar from PDS.
Fair Price Shop Dealers Association from 14 (fourteen) States primarily joined hands to form the Federation and gradually other States followed suit and at present the Federation can boast of representation from 29 (twenty-nine) States as Members. To elucidate further, all the FPS Dealers of different States are Members of the Federation excepting a breakaway group of 200 to 300 Dealers formed a faction in West Bengal without having any Registration, or Regd. Office.
The present number of Member-Dealers is 4, 61,768 out of a total number of around 4, 92,000 Fair Price Shop Dealers and we look forward to further participation.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The primary and most important aim and objective of our Federation is to attain a Universal Public Distribution System and to envisage a Hunger-Free India. We strive for strengthening the Public Distribution System and ensure uninterrupted supply of essential items, items of Daily Use through the Fair Price Shops so as to curb open market prices, hoarding, profiteering and black-marketing. In fact, all these are integrally related to our very survival as Fair Price Shop Dealers. A strong and well-meant Public Distribution System will ensure the minimum viability of the Fair Price Shops, which are our bread and butter.
Fair Price Shops are basically engaged in restrictive trade. They can sell only those things, which are allotted to them in the PDS and their income is also restricted on the basis of Commissions fixed from time to time by Govt. Orders. Moreover, as of now, the Fair Price Shop business is basically a one generation business in so far as there is no policy of allowing a Dealer to nominate his successor. Appointments on compassionate ground are given at times but compassion cannot be demanded and therefore it depends on matters of mercy.
Another salient feature of the Fair Price Shops is that most of the Fair Price Shop Owners are both the employer and the employee at the same time but without the neither the prerogative of the Owner nor the Trade Union Right of an employee.
Unity of the Fair Price Shop Dealers is the must under the circumstances and formation of Associations culminating in the Federation is strategic necessity for voicing our demands and attaining our objectives.
In the Federal structure of Governance, the Union Govt. procures foodgrains and allots them to the State Governments for distribution in PDS through the Fair Price Shops. In case of disparity in the Central allotment, the Federation takes up the cause of the concerned State Govts. with the Union Govt. and also goes for forming public opinion and agitational programmes as and when necessary. This is, in fact, a part of the Federation's regular course of action.
In course of our struggle, we have been privileged to have the guidance and kind blessings of Com. Sitaram Yechuri, Com. Brinda Karat, Com. A.B.Bardhan, Com. Md. Salim, Late Com. Subhas Chakraborty, Com. Tarit Baran Topder, Com. Abani Roy, Com. Anadi Sahu, Com. Tapas Sinha and others, which we gratefully acknowledge. In fact, Com. Sitaram Yechuri was our Chief Advisor and withdrew himself from that capacity for personal reasons. Com Tarit Baran Topder is the Chief Advisor of our West Bengal State Committee.