Fair price shops ask NVCO to name offenders
Dimapur, Sep. 28 (EMN): The Fair Price Shops’ Union of Kohima district has asked the Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) to ‘pinpoint’ the fair price shops that are charging illegal prices or engaging in black marketing.
The union issued a press release to the media on Saturday responding to allegations of the consumer group that the fair price shops are charging illegal prices.
In the words of the union: ‘However, in the said news item, the NVCO’s allegation on anomalies and fraud in dealings of fair price shops in Kohima, the share of the beneficiaries are flowing in black marketing such as 50 kg of rice supposed to be charging INR 150 is selling in the market by way of black marketing at the rate of INR 1350 to 1500 per bag ie., 50 kg has taken the union by surprise.’
The union asserted that ‘the main objective of the union is not only to regulate the timely and equitable distribution of the essential commodities received by the fair price shops through POS.’
The union claimed further that the prices are ‘properly maintained as per the “legal rates” fixed by the government.’
Besides the normal and regular inspections carried out by the district officers, the panchayats and youth bodies have also been given responsibility to check and monitor the functions of fair price shops,’ the press release stated.
“Since the objective of the union is not different from that of NVCO, it will be very much appreciated if the NVCO can pinpoint the culprits (Fair Price Shops) who are allegedly doing ‘black marketing’ or excessive charges so as to enable the union and the district officers to take necessary and befitting action against those defaulters.”
The union requested the NVCO to also ‘look beyond Kohima district as far as PDS vis-à-vis Fair Price Shops is concerned.’
Fair price shop association
A separate press release issued by the All Nagaland Fair Price Shop Association (ANFPSA) has listed a number of issues concerning the public distribution system.
The association informed that its president and general secretary had attended a two-day convention of All India Fair Price Shop Dealers Federation during September 23-24th at Kolkata.
During the event, the convention adopted resolutions about the Public Distribution System (PDS) for the central government to address. The convention resolved to “fight tooth and nail” against the central government plan and attempt of privatising the PDS.
“The house resolved to go against the order of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) by the Union government and will fight for total withdrawal centrally without shifting responsibility to the state govts,” the association stated.
Likewise, another resolution was to withdraw the DBT from Chandigarh immediately.
Further, the convention resolved that the kerosene quota to be “restored wherever it has been abolished, and compensated by grant of LPG licence to the dealers.”
Likewise, the groups “felt that strengthening of the PDS is the only instrument to arrest the spiralling open market prices of essential commodity and items such as rice, wheat, sugar, pulse and edible oil.”
Again, the association resolved to demand the decision of ‘one nation one ration card’ into ‘one nation one card and PDS for all.’ The group stated that computerisation of PDS and introduction of biometric systems are ‘realistically not practicable concepts in PDS,’ and thus demand ‘continued running of PDS manually.’
Another resolution was to demand enhancement of commission at INR 250 per quintal and ensuring minimum income guarantee of INR 30,000 per month for all the FPS dealers immediately by the Government of India, the press release stated.
The statement even demanded that the Fair price Shop dealers be given “similar treatment like the central government employees.”
“The house unanimously decided to go for nationwide agitation and court cases after the festivals get over ie. from December 2019 involving the consumers in the programme,” the statement added.