As part of the Digital India initiative, Sanjeev Chopra, Secretary of the Department of Food and Public Distribution, initiated a trial to enroll fair price shops (FPSs) in Una and Hamirpur districts of Himachal Pradesh onto the Open Network Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform.
The pilot was launched virtually in 11 FPSs – five FPSs in Una and six FPSs in Hamirpur districts. This is the first time fair price shops are being onboarded on the ONDC.
Speaking on the occasion, Chopra said this landmark initiative adds to the continuous efforts of his department in transforming the fair price shops. This effort aims at providing additional avenues of income generation for FPS dealers along with enhancing beneficiary satisfaction.
Furthermore, he underlined that this initiative provides numerous benefits for FPS dealers including visibility in the digital marketplace, access to a larger customer base beyond NFSA beneficiaries, and the ability to compete on an equal footing with large retailers and e-commerce platforms. Additionally, beneficiaries who face difficulties in making online purchase can approach the FPS dealer to make online orders on their behalf.
He highlighted that the success of the pilot being implemented in Himachal Pradesh will serve as a model for statewide and nationwide adoption in the future. He also appreciated the support of MicroSave Consulting (MSC) in deploying this pilot program.
After the launch event, a workshop in physical mode was organised for the FPS dealers in Una and Hamirpur districts. The workshop explained on how to catalogue products, service orders, and commission structure on ONDC.
Incorporated on December 31, 2021, ONDC goes beyond the current platform-centric digital commerce model where the buyer and seller have to use the same platform or application to be digitally visible and do a business transaction.
ONDC is a non-profit company established by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to develop open e-commerce.