Cooperative societies in mire of controversy

consumer protection
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Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 5: Notwithstanding the State government’s insistence on transparency and accountability in the administration and management of all public utility services, serious allegations of irregularities and anomalies have often cropped up against the cooperative societies of Jatinga and Bicrampore in north Cachar. According to Grahak Suraksha Samiti, public grievances have surfaced in respect of rice PDS which were taken up by the consumers’ body. But, no specific answers to these grievances could be obtained. In 2016 December as alleged by the Samiti, both the above mentioned cooperative societies lifted their quotas of rice, leaving aside other available consumer items under PDS from FCI godown.

The media reports then highlighted the information that on the ground of their certain grievances, the cooperative societies of Cachar did not lift their allotments of rice from the FCI in December 2016. When GSS brought before the general public about the lifting of rice by Jatinga and Bicrampore cooperative societies, the scandal about it could be in the open which created lot of furore in civil society. Unfortunately, the action taken by the district administration against these cooperative societies could not be known to consumers. Perhaps, it was hushed up.

On July 3 last, has come to light the information about a anomaly in respect of rice of the Jatinga cooperative society, pointed out Biplob Kumar Goswami, general secretary, GSS. The consumers know this time also no action from the administration will be initiated. The question making round is, will the culprits involved in creating holes in the silos of cooperative societies escape from punishment under relevant sections of Consumers’ Act. It is expected that the elected people’s representative of the area, Kishore Nath, committed to the declared objective of his government will definitely take the lead in bringing to the fore the anomalies of the cooperative society.

The Deputy Commissioner of Cachar S Lakshmanan, IAS, who has established himself as an able administrator, will adopt harsher measure to bring about transparency and accountability in the functioning of cooperative societies in larger interest of public. GSS has demanded thorough probe into the scandal and positive action by the civil supply department of the district. The people of Borkhola constituency where both the cooperative societies are located should also keep a watch on their activities.