Controls and rationing date back to 1942. It was almost imperative on the part of the Government of India to impose the rationing of consumer goods due to the general shortage of the same during the World War II. Sale and purchase of consumer goods, such as, rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, sugar, gul, kerosene and cloth was prohibited in the open market. The movement of and transactions in these commodities were banned by enacting legislation to the effect. Under the 'compulsory levy system' a certain proportion of the grains produced was procured from the agriculturists. The commodities were distributed through ration shops. This system continued till 1948. In 1948, the Government of India relaxed the extent of controls, and discontinued the ' compulsory levy system'. With further improvement in the food situation in 1950, the Government took progressive steps towards decontrol. It was, however, in 1954 that all the controls were withdrawn.

Since the food situation showed an unsatisfactory trend in 1956, limited controls were resumed. This step towards resumption of controls was accompanied by the starting of fair price shops. Prices of rice, wheat, jowar and other foodgrains registered a steep rise during 1959, 1962, 1963 and 1964. The Government, therefore, decided to establish more fair price shops and import foodgrains from abroad. The zonal system was introduced in order to check undue rise in prices. The food situation, however, worsened into a crisis in 1964 and 1965. Prices rose to an unprecedented level. The Pakistani aggression in September 1965 caused a spurt in the prices of essential commodities.

The adverse situation prompted the Government of Maharashtra to introduce informal rationing and monopoly procurement of rice, jowar and wheat through government agencies. Under the procurement system, government purchases these foodgrains from the agriculturist at the stipulated prices. These prices are much lower than those prevailing in the open market. Sale of these foodgrains by the agriculturists to private traders is banned by the government.

The grains thus procured are distributed through fair price shops at stipulated prices. A part of the grain stock is kept as buffer stock to meet any adverse situation arising from shortages.

Grain procurement started in Dhulia district from 15th November 1964. Twenty-four purchase centres were selected in the district, and nine purchase and sale co-operative unions [These unions are at Dhulia, Shirpur, Sindkheda, Nandurbar, Shahada, Sakri, Taloda, Nawapur, and Akkalkuwa.] were declared sub-agents of the Apex Marketing Society. These unions are empowered to procure the grains under supervision of the government officials.

The fair price shops are run by co-operative societies, village panchayats as well as by private shopkeepers. They have to be approved by the Government. For the purpose of establishment of fair price shops, co-operative societies and village panchayats are given a preference over private shopkeepers. They are controlled and inspected by the District Supply Officer, and are required to maintain (i) a stock register, (ii) a visit book, and (iii) a daily sale register. The consumers are required to obtain household ration cards. The quantity and value of foodgrains disbursed through fair price shops in the district during 1963-84 is given below:-


Quantity Metric tons.














During 1963-64, there were 467 fair price shops in the district, of which 267 were run by co-operative societies. 33 by village panchayats, 10 by other organised bodies and 157 by private shopkeepers.

At present there is informal rationing in respect of rice, wheat and jowar in the district. Sugar is also disbursed through fair price shops.