Robbed of a huge amount of real estate in the process of repaying bank loans, agri co-operative Nafed has hit upon the idea of finding a foot hold in Delhi again. A highly placed source confides that the cooperative has taken about 25 shops on lease rent from DDA which it plans to convert into free-hold properties later. “And this is the beginning”, the source says.
Twenty years down the line, Nafed will have considerable assets to fall back upon-is the idea. Nafed is taking these shops from DDA in the name of setting up retail chains- a field in which it has negligible experience. “You cannot do everything-bulk procurement, handling whole-sale orders and then doing retail business and we know that”, he says while underlining the difference between the Nafed business model and a retail chain.
“It is mainly an attempt at hitting the headlines and allowing the Nafed MD to toot his horn about his tenure’s achievement in opening a chain of retail stores across the country’s capital”, says the source candidly while admitting the presence and visibility of Nafed would certainly rise through retail shops.
Reacting to the media reports which said NAFED has opened its retail bazaars in the newly developed residential complex of Delhi Development Authority in Sectors 34 and 35 of Rohini, the source added that Nafed is shortly going to set up two more shops-one in Narela and the second on in Dwarka in Delhi.
He also admitted that DDA has indeed allotted 22 shops in Delhi. “We aim to have 50 such shops in Delhi”, he added.
Pooh-poohing the argument that such shops would enable NAFED to provide the procured stock from farmers’ directly to the consumers at competitive price, thereby benefiting both ends of production and consumption, the source says such a tall claim may be copy for the media but does not explain the real story.
The source also credits UP Singh, DDA’s Vice-Chairman who was Nafed’s Additional MD in 2004 with supporting the Nafed’s project” Singh, a 1984 IAS officer has Nafed’s good always in his heart and his kindly disposition has greatly eased bureaucratic hassles in getting these shops for Nafed”, he concludes.