JAMMU, OCTOBER 23- To maintain strict vigil over profiteering, black marketing of essential commodities and safeguard the interests of consumers, including tourists, the Department of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution has initiated certain stringent measures to streamline the distribution system.
Board based vigilance/monitoring squads have been constituted to watch the interests of common man and check any losses/pilferage. The squads comprising of senior officers of the department would monitor and conduct regular inspection of proper distribution of PDS food grains, kerosene oil, sugar and other commodities as per the Essential Commodities Act. These inspection teams have been authorized tomonitor the movement of vehicles or any other mode or means that are used for transportation, distribution/storage/dumping of PDS material, Kerosene Oil and its distribution among the PDS beneficiaries besides enquire, investigate and take measures which will help in monitoring the pilferage/loss of government exchequer and recommend punitive action against those official and non officials involved in such losses.
Squad will also have the mandate to move/shift a transport vehicle/means of transport beyond the determined route for the purpose of investigation such as determining laden/unladen weight/contents and nature of goods or for any other purpose which is or may become part of monitoring or investigation. They can also seize the records/goods, take samples for determining contents/quality or for any other purpose which is in the interest of exchequer/public health and consumers at large. Squad shall devise a mechanism for receiving complaints, if any, regarding the misappropriation/leakage in PDS, if any. For this the helpline number of Directorate level i.e 1967 as well other numbers of the Assistant Directors across Jammu Division have been published for general awareness and receiving timely inputs.
Complying with the decisions taken in review meetings conducted under the Chairmanship of Minister for CAPD and Tribal Affairs Department, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali, the department as per provisions under Hoarding Profiteering Prevention Ordinance, 2000 (1943 AD) has re-fixed the maximum limit of quantities of essential commodities like onion, pulses and edible oils for wholesale stockiest to be stored/stocked at different locations of Jammu division. The maximum prescribed limit of stocking for a wholesale stockiest has been fixed at 500 qtls for onion, 1000 qtls for pulses and 1500 qtls for edible oils. The business establishments dealing with wholesale stockiests of those commodities have been warned not to indulge profiteering or black marketing failing which strict action under the law shall be invoked against the defaulters.
For the convenience of consumers particularly pilgrims, the department has also fixed the sale rates of dhabha items which include vegetarian and non-vegetarian preparations comprising sale rates of mutton, chicken, egg, live sheep & goat. The sale rates of hand bakery items, halwai items, milk and milk products and also of Dengue tests have been fixed and notified for awareness among general public.
The officers of the department have been directed to conduct regular market surveillance and submit reports in their time frame.
The owners, proprietors of these business establishments have been directed to strictly adhere to the rate lists already notified from time to time and not to indulge in overcharging from consumers which is violative of the provisions of Essential Commodities Act.
Seeking cooperation from general masses, the department has requested public to inform the Directorate in case of any complaints regarding overpricing, profiteering by commercial establishments. The consumers can call on the helpline numbers for immediate redressal of their complaints and can also contact Directorate of CA&PD on 1967 (landline user toll free), 0191-2502609 (Mobile users) and email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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