Active participation of the State in the field of trade dates back to 1942. It was necessitated by a general shortage of essential consumers goods caused by World War II. In order to achieve a fair distribution of these goods the Government of India adopted a policy of rationing such consumers goods as rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, sugar, kerosene and cloth and distributed them to consumers through Government approved ration shops. Trade in these goods in the open market and their movement were also controlled and prohibited. The Government's steps helped stabilising the prices to a great extent and reduced the hoarding by middlemen. They also minimised the hardships of consumers in deficit areas.

After 1950, as the supply position of consumers goods began to show signs of improvement, the Government adopted a policy of relaxation of controls. In 1954 the Government completely lifted the controls. But as in 1956 the situation worsened in respect of supply of essential goods, limited controls in the form of creation of zones for rice, wheat, etc. were reimposed. Distribution of foodgrains and sugar through fair price shops was restarted and restriction on the movement of these goods was again instituted. In 1958 the Government of India declared a policy of State Trading in foodgrains.

In this district there is no regular or statutory rationing of goods as such. However, with a view to reducing the burden of rising prices on the lower and middle classes, the State Government have introduced a scheme of Fair Price Shops. By 1965 there were thus 563 fair price shops in the district. They distributed grains and sugar as per the quantum fixed by the Government from lime to time. From April 1965 to March 1966, they distributed about 1,65,985 quintals of these commodities valued at Rs. 1,02,09,265.