From Our Correspondent
Silchar, April 2: Black marketers need an opportunity to deceive and con consumers. They do not pause to think about it. It has been alleged by the members of Grahak Suraksha Samiti (GSS) that these black marketers are always on a lookout for situations when they can cheat others. Barak Valley has been affected by torrential rains for the last few days. Many areas have been affected. In this regard, the Samiti members have cautioned people and urged the district administration to keep a vigilant eye on the black marketers so that they are uble to cheat the customers.
Three days of continuous heavy rainfall submerged many areas of the valley. People were forced to remain water locked as they could hardly move out from their respective houses. Since it is an urgent situation, chances are high that dealers and sellers of essential commodities may indulge in unruly and dishonest practices. Usually they try to take undue advantage of this situation and charge high prices from the buyers. The prices of essential commodities, vegetables, kerosene oil and others are usually raised above normal rates. So, the consumers’ body has urged upon the district administration to keep an eagle’s eye in this matter.
The members of the Samiti are of the opinion that such evil practices should be nipped at the bud so that its tentacles do not spread. During floods, unscrupulous dealers and sellers rise the price of kerosene oil which is an essential commodity. Upon an enquiry by the Samiti members, it has come into light that kerosene oil has been distributed among the dealers, hawkers and sellers. But it has not been distributed to the customers yet. People are yet to get kerosene oil for the month of March. This is rampant both in the rural and the urban areas.
The non distribution of essential commodities to the consumers admissible is a crime and the authorities concerned should bring such dishonest dealers and sellers to task. It has been seen that people residing in the rural areas are the worst hit during any tural calamity. It has been alleged by the consumers’ body that Rs.70 to Rs.80 are being charged for per litre of kerosene oil. Grahak Suraksha Samiti is hopeful and optimistic that the district administration of Cachar will keep an observant and vigilant eye on these black marketers. The Samiti members have also urged upon the people to raise their voices against such evil practices.
In addition to kerosene oil, the price of onion, tomato, potato and other vegetables as well as LPG cylinders are being sold in the black market during emergency situations. He further said that pulses, masoor dal and moong dal, are also being sold at much higher prices than fixed by the administration. Such crimes are punishable under the law and anybody found in doing so, will be immediately arrested and punished. Grahak Suraksha Samiti has also assured that they will be alert and active and see that no dealers or sellers can indulge in such activities. It should be mentioned here that under the provisions of the Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintence of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act of 1980, legal action can be taken against those involved in such malpractices.