Visakhapatnam

Lapses galore at FP shops, says survey

People waiting at a FP shop in Visakhapatnam.

People waiting at a FP shop in Visakhapatnam.  

Consumer forum seeks action against erring dealers

The Federation of District Consumer Organisations has demanded registration of criminal cases against the fair-price shop dealers who resort to malpractice in weight while distributing free rice and Bengal gram (sanagalu) to bemeficiaries.

A preliminary survey conducted by consumer rights activists at various places in the district on Thursday morning has revealed that many fair-price shop dealers were distributing less commodities than the specified quantities to the beneficiaries, a statement quoted federation president Kandregula Venkata Ramana as saying. “The difference in weight was up to 150 gm for every 1 kg of Bengal gram supplied, while the same for rice was up to 2 kg per 20 kg supplied,” he said.

‘No stamping’

Giving more details about the survey, Mr. Venkata Ramana said that it was revealed that around 64 % of the consumers were being cheated in this manner. There are 12,45,259 ration card holders under the purview of 2,193 fair-price shops in the district.

“Over 75 % of the additional counters opened at the FP shops are using weights and measures, which do not bear the stamping of the Legal Metrology Department,” he said.

It is the responsibility of the dealers to ensure that consumers get the commodities of specified weight. Mr. Venkata Ramana said complaints were sent through emails to Collector V. Vinay Chand, legal metrology and civil supplies departments. He called upon the consumers to dial the toll free number 1800 425 4202, in case of any such complaints. He also appealed to consumer organisations to be vigilant in this regard.

Shops to open at 6 a.m.

Meanwhile, Joint Collector L. Shiva Shankar asked the fair-price shop dealers to open the shops by 6 a.m. to overcome the technical problems pertaining to servers.

“Rice and Bengal gram are being distributed to ration card holders during the second phase of distribution. The FP shop dealers have been instructed to stick to the timings. Stringent action will be taken against those who violate the guidelines,” said Mr. Shiva Shankar.

He directed the MPDOs and VROs to inspect the shops regularly.

Prices of some essential commodities have been revised as per prevailing market rates, he said at a meeting of Price Fixation Committee.

Mr, Shiva Shankar saod that price lists should be displayed at all shops mandatorily. “Action will be taken against the traders if they sell the commodities at prices higher than that that prescribed by the committee,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 5:46:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/lapses-galore-at-fp-shops-says-survey/article31360188.ece

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