- Sets limits on stocking goods, fixes rates for dhabas
JAMMU: The department of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD) on Friday formed vigilance squads to keep a check on profiteering and black marketing of essential commodities in the state, an official spokesman said.
The official said that these measures are taken to safeguard the interests the customers.
“The squads comprising of senior officials 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.”
He said that these inspection teams have been authorised to monitor 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.”
He said that these squads will also investigate and take measures to help in monitoring the pilferage or loss of government exchequer and “will also recommend punitive action against those official and non officials involved in such losses.”
The official said that these squads will also have the mandate to move and shift a vehicle or any other means of transport beyond the determined route for the purpose of investigation.
“The investigation purposes may include determining of laden, un-laden weight and contents and nature of goods or for any other purpose which is or may become part of monitoring or investigation.”
He said that these squads can also seize the records, goods, take samples for determining content and quality or for any other purpose “which is in the interest of exchequer, public health and consumers at large”.
The official said that these squads shall devise a mechanism for receiving complaints, if any, regarding the misappropriation or leakage in PDS. “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.”
He said that these decisions were taken in compliance with the decisions taken in review meetings conducted under the chairmanship of minister for CAPD, 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 or stocked at different locations of Jammu division, the official added.
“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.”
He said that for the convenience of consumers particularly pilgrims, the department has also fixed the sale rates of dhabha items. “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.”
Seeking cooperation from people, the spokesman said that the department has requested them 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: [email protected]”