Authorities go tough against profiteers

The authorities in Kashmir are cracking down on shopkeepers selling essential commodities at exorbitant rates.

It has also been decided to seal the shops of mutton sellers who do not adhere to government fixed rates.

According to official data of market checking squad, at least 106 shopkeepers have been booked between November 1 to November 13, this year, for selling essential goods at increased rates.

“They were all booked at respective police stations under the relevant sections of Essential Commodities Act and Indian Penal Code,” said assistant enforcement director (market checking squad) of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCSCA), Mushtaq Ahmad Wani.

He informed that the total fine recovered in all districts of the Kashmir upto 13 November is Rs 2,77,250.

“106 FIRs were lodged against the erring shopkeepers for various offences as well,” Wani said.

“In Srinagar, 1035 business establishments were inspected and a fine of Rs 1,29,500 has been collected from 211 erring shopkeepers which includes mutton, poultry, vegetable, bakery, and fruit sellers,” he said.

“In Srinagar, fifty erring traders were also booked in concerned Police stations for violation of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955,” he said.

In other districts of the Kashmir, the concerned officials have also geared up market checking in their respective jurisdictions and inspected 4815 business establishments.

“Among them 876 erring traders have been penalized, the fine realized from them is Rs 1,47,750,” he said.

Moreover, 56 defaulters in different districts found involved in various offences have also been booked in different Police Stations during the current month.

“During these inspections, market checking teams destroyed rotten bakery, vegetable on spot and warned sellers not to repeat the violation,” Wani said.

“We have decided to seal the shop of mutton seller, if found involved in selling mutton at rates above the government fixed price,” Wani said.