Researchers study fair price shops in India



By Ali Hussain

Every month millions of people below the poverty line in India make their way to fair price shops. There they can buy a ration of wheat, rice, sugar or oil at a reduced price.

A network of over 400,000 fair price shops have provided governmentally subsidized food to more than 600 million citizens.

It is the largest distribution network in the world, yet there are concerns about its efficiency.

Prashant Rajan, an assistant professor at Iowa State University, studies the effectiveness of fair price shops in the Chhattisgarh province of India. He is studying how salespeople feel about the use of debit card-like smartcards to keep track of fair price purchases. His research could help fair price shops serve people higher quality food at a lower cost.

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