Andhra Pradesh government has tied up with Reliance Retail and Future Group to convert fair price shops under the Public Distribution System into 'Village Malls'. Incidentally, Future Retail last year purchased the retail business of Heritage Foods in which Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's family has a stake. Both Reliance and Future will now be partners in the Village Malls. In all there are 29,000 fair price shops across the state of which 6,500 would be converted in the first phase and christened 'Anna' Village Malls after former Chief Minister N T Rama Rao. The Chief Minister, at a high-level review meeting here today, directed the Civil Supplies Department to make the Anna Village Malls attractive and also design a special logo. The state government, he said, would bear 25 per cent of the establishment cost while another 25 per cent would be provided as loan to the dealers under the Centre's Mudra Yojana. Products manufactured by women self-help groups and Girijan Cooperative Corporation would also be sold at the proposed malls along with the agriculture produce procured directly from farmers. "The Anna Village Malls will enable anyone to sell their products," the Chief Minister added. Interestingly, it was revealed during the review that as many 4,599 FPS dealerships were lying vacant in the state for the past several months. The Chief Minister directed the authorities to fill these vacancies soon.
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