NVCO cries foul at Fair Price Shops’ unfair prices
Dimapur, Sep. 22 (EMN): The Nagaland Voluntary Consumer Organisation (NVCO) has alleged anomalies and fraud in the dealings of Fair Price Shops in Kohima. These shops are charging prices that are way higher than the legal rate, it stated. Further, the district officers who are supposed to look into the complaints and grievances of beneficiaries are not doing their job, the NVCO alleged.
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 INR 1500 per bag, 50 kgs,’ the NVCO alleged in a statement.
A consumer awareness campaign was conducted on September 21 at Japfu Christian College at Kigwema in Kohima. The topics of the event included consumer rights, environment, food safety, street vendor, food security and human rights, stated a press release received here on Sunday from the NVCO.
The resource persons consisted of LL.B final year students of Kohima Law College namely Jevitoli Sumi, Mhabeni Tungoe, Shanchu Khiam, and Kivitoli Swu led by their Asst. Professor Kezhokhoto Savi, also president of the NVCO.
The team visited the pay counter in the southern Angami area where Nagaland police were “actively collecting cash” at the Phuzama check gate and Phesama check-gate, two pay counters at Jakhama village and another at the ‘Phesama landslide area,’ the KMC toll tax counter and the SAPO local Tax counter, which was stated to be located at the Phesam check-gate together with the Nagaland police.
The press release stated that the NVCO asked the state government to abolish the practice of lease/contractor, syndicate, collecting cash in a form of registration from business community by certain underground group, deducting/cut from developmental funds in a form of commission etc.
The NVCO highlighted in the press release that the National Food Security Act of 2013 was an Act to “fight against hunger and on the other word ‘Right to Food.’”
“It is sad to hear that some of the Fair Price Shops and colonies in the state capital were charging the amount of INR 5 to INR 6 per kg of ‘Rice’ contrary to the correct price of INR 3 per kg of rice. The INR 3 per kg of rice, INR 2 per kg of wheat and INR 1 per kg of cereal is the right price as per the Act and not to charge more from the beneficiaries,” the press release stated.
“We cannot tolerate the excessive charges of almost double to this food grain ie., rice. The AAY is entitled of 35 kgs per month and others ie., priority household (PHH) is entitled 5 kgs per individual in a family where the mother or the eldest woman in the family would be the head of the household in handling the ration cards.”
According to the organisation, more than 14 lakh citizens in Nagaland are entitled to these food grains. The organisation has appealed that more citizens be allowed to apply ration cards “except the rich family and high ranking officers in government departments.”
“It is an appeal that none of the genuine beneficiaries is left out and even the church worker families must apply so as to save family budget by availing food grain such as rice, wheat at a subsidized rate and spent money towards children education and health care.”
Further, the press release stated, the team questioned the state government as to why the ‘Food commission is not constituted.’
The district officer supposed to look into the complaints and grievances of beneficiaries are not doing their job and the shares of the beneficiaries are ‘flowing in black marketing such as 50 kg of rice suppose to be charging INR150 is selling in the market by way of black-marketing at the rate of INR 1350 to INR 1500 per bag, 50 kgs.’
The press release stated that the department of Food & Civil Supplies is required to immediately look into this problem and complaint
If not, the NVCO stated, the essence of the National Food Security Act 2013 will not be achieved.