SILCHAR, Dec 18: The Cachar Grahak Suraksha Samiti (GSS) expressed serious concern over the rampant corruption going on in the public distribution system (PDS). The GSS members said this in a consumers’ meet held today at the Gandhi Bhavan premises in Silchar.
GSS general secretary Biplob Kumar Goswami, while attending the consumers’ meet, said all this anomalies and irregularities in the system take place due to the ignorance and apathy of consumers in respect of various provisions of the consumer’s act and legal course of action to be adopted for their redressal. He claimed since 2004, the Samiti, through sustained campaigning, has been able to reach around 36,000 people in order to acquaint them with the rights of consumers.
He regretted that still most of the people were inactive to exercise their rights and agitate the provisions of consumer’s act for justice. The State Government on its part has set up district consumer redressal forum here like the rest of the country, but people are yet to earn benefits from it. It is again due to their ignorance that massive scams are taking place in PDS in Assam as a whole which has touched a staggering figure of Rs 959 crore. About 75 per cent of the rice allotted for BPL people make their way to the open market. The same is the story with wheat and flour, large quantum of which goes to black marketers and profiteers.
Former lecturer of English and a member of GSS Jahar Kanti Sen revealed a report of a national daily and said people in many areas in the seven States of Northeast are unaware of the availability of wheat under PDS.
In order to make people aware of their rights and to increase their level of consciousness, GSS Cachar has till date organized 182 citizens’ meets.
Corruption is also rampant in the distribution of LPG cylinders. The dealers charge exorbitant prices from the consumers against cylinders despite their being registered for receiving the cylinders on their fixed price. He called upon the consumers to be aware of their rights and to join the movement of GSS in order to build a strong resistance against blackmarketers, profiteers and hoarders. THE SENTINEL