Spplyco outlets- can they take on retail chains?

The agitation by feeder organisations of the Communist Party of India (CPI) against retail chains is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Local bodies controlled by the Left Democratic Front, to which the CPI is a constituent, had allowed several retails chains to set up shops in the cities. Then, they reversed the policy and prevented others from entering. Thus, the Government and local bodies is actually limiting competition in the field and encouraging monopolies. The agitations are probably a cover for those aiding the monopolies.

It may be recalled that the Food and Civil Supplies Minister C. Divakaran had announced one and a half years ago that State owned Civil Supplies Corporation (Supplyco) would start retail chains to take on the retail giants. This was a contradiction of sorts. The Minister was proposing to create a retail chain to compete with the retail chains instead of disallowing them, if the policy was to discourage them.

Anyway, that has not materialised so far. One cannot expect the Supplyco chains to actually take on the retail chains. Instead, one can expect more demonstrations from the CPI stable as its Minister rules the Supplyco.

The prices are soaring and they have to keep public attention away from the failures of the Government.