Thiruvananthapuram: The civil supplies department is planning to distribute non-subsidised items, which are now given through Supplyco outlets, through ration shops. This is part of the move to diversify the ration shops to ensure better income for the shop owners.
An in-principle decision has been taken to distribute bottled water and Sabari tea through ration shops, sources said.
Supplyco also markets its own branded fast-moving consumer goods, including tea, coffee, milled wheat products, curry powders, iodised salt, bottled water, rice products, coconut oil and spices under the brand name Sabari. These items now being supplied through supermarkets and Maveli stores of the Supplyco will be distributed through the ration shops also in the future.
A bottle of water will be priced at Rs 11. The packaged drinking water will be made available in all the 14,350 ration shops in the state. Earlier, the government had supplied packaged drinking water through Supplyco supermarkets.
Sources said that the average production cost of common bottled drinking water is Rs 6 per litre. The manufacturers supply it at Rs 8 while retailers sell it at Rs 12 per litre.
As part of market intervention, Supplyco already sells bottled water through its supermarkets. One ration shop from 77 taluks each will be selected for supplying bottled water in the first phase. Later, the remaining 14,300-odd ration shops will be covered....