Bhubaneshwar: Minister for Food, Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs & Tribal Affairs Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali today said that to give thrust to the State’s development, best practices of other states will be adopted in J&K so that 100 percent transparency can be brought in the system.
Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali is on study tour to Odisha to observe the functioning of the public distribution system in various States which will help in fine-tuning the system in Jammu and Kashmir in make it more efficient.
As part of the tour, Zulfkar today called upon Minister for Food and Consumer Welfare of Odisha Surya Narayan Patro, and had detailed discussions regarding various schemes being implemented in the Food and Consumer Welfare Department of Odisha.
Odisha Minister briefed Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali about Market Intelligence concept which has been entrusted with tasks of collecting of market data, issue of radio bulletins, weekly price bulletin, market news bulletin and submission of periodical reports and returns to different quarters including Government of India. He said that it is most important wing of Food, Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department which acts as a support system to the decision making process in formulating policies. “It takes action under EC Act, against traders indulging in unfair trade practices and also monitors prices and availability situation of essential commodities in open market on day-to-day basis through computer network”, he added.
The Minister also briefed Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali about activities of Consumer Protection and informed him that Odisha Government has established 31 District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forums (known as District Forums) and a State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (known as State Commission). He briefed that District Forums and the State Commission are composed of one President and two Members including one Woman Member. He added that District Forum can adjudicate consumer disputes involving amount of upto Rs 20 lakh, whereas the pecuniary jurisdiction of the State Commission is up to Rs 1 crore.
About the CONFONET scheme, the Minister said that District Forums and the State Commission are being provided with computers and technical support personnel by Govt of India at their own cost through NIC. He added that 500 consumer clubs have been set up in 21 Districts through voluntary consumer organizations as co-coordinating agencies.
About the new initiatives in consumer affairs, Patro briefed that they are going to set up 7 more Working Standard Laboratories, strengthening of existing 73 Laboratories, development of a permanent training wing in the Directorate, setting up of a Museum of Weights and Measures in the premises of the Directorate and formation of the State Squad to strengthen the enforcement activities.
The Minister added that LMD also enforce various provisions of weights and measures laws, earn non-tax Govt. revenue in the form of fees for verification, compounding etc., regulation of manufacture, repair & sale of weights and measures, regulation of packaged commodities sold or distributed, regulation of commodities sold by heaps, and regulation of services rendered by weight, measure or number.
About ePDS, Minister briefed that they have started e-Despatch, an electronic portal on which every activity is being uploaded. He briefed that all day to day functioning of the Department can be seen on the portal which has changed the scenario of the Department by making it fully digital Department.