‘Dedicated squads to keep eye on Onam market’

Civil Supplies Commissioner will supervise squads under vigilance wing of Supplyco

Thiruvananthapuram: Consumer Affairs Minister Anoop Jacob said that dedicated inter-district squads would be deployed to check hoarding, black-marketing, and such other malpractices aimed at creating artificial price rise to ensuring that the rights of consumers were protected during the Onam season. Apart from government outlets, the squad would also check private traders, Mr Jacob said.

The minister told Deccan Chronicle that the squads under the vigilance department of Supplyco would function under the direct supervision of the Civil Supplies Commissioner. The squad had conducted inspections in 1349 covering both private shops and Supplyco outlets across the state as part of its raids. During the raids, the squad found irregularities in 742 shops and took disciplinary action including imposing fines and termination of licence, Mr Jacob said.

Mr Jacob said that the shops covered in the raid included 86 ration wholesale shops and 572 retail outlets. Of them, irregularities were found in 49 wholesale outlets and 381 retail outlets. Irregularities were found in 56 out of the 81 LPG outlets in which raids were conducted. The raids would continue till the end of the Onam season, Mr Jacob. The Government had convened meetings with mill owners and ration shop dealers also to ensure that the consumer gets quality food products during the Onam season. The government would not allow traders to indulge in unhealthy practices like artificial scarcity and price hike during the Onam season, Mr Jacob said.

The Government also intervened to ensure that the indefinite strike by the joint action council of Supplyco employees was withdrawn to ensure that the interest of consumers was not compromised. The strike was called off following the meeting held between the action council and me, Mr Jacob said.

Even the strike by Supplyco Employees did not make a huge impact on the consumers. The strike affected the functioning of only 665 of the 15,000 Supplyco outlets. All the 15,000 Onam bazars also functioned as normal. Mr. Jacob said that district fairs in connection with Onam had started on August 13 and a special fair on August 21. Assembly constituency-wise fairs on September would continue till Thiru Onam. A total of 1500 outlets will be operated by Supplyco during Onam covering all the local bodies of the State, Mr Jacob said.

( Source : dc )
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