Officer appointed to check LPG black marketing

STAFF REPORTER
IMPHAL, 22nd Apr: Education (S) commissioner T Ranjit has been appointed as nodal officer to check if there is any black marketing of LPG in the state during Covid-19 lockdown.
The appointment was made during a review meeting of the Covid-19 Task Force chaired by chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu on April 22.
During the meeting, the chief secretary pointed out that there are reports that LPG refills are being sold at high price in the black market, and the state government has taken very serious note of it. It is very unfortunate that during this perilous period, when state machineries and other stake holder are trying their best to stop spread of Covid-19, authorised LPG dealers are indulging in unethical trade practices, he added.
Dr J Suresh Babu warned that all those found involved in such activity will be penalised according to the provisions of Essential Commodities Act or other related Acts/Rules.
Following his appointment, nodal officer T Ranjit issued an order on Wednesday, directing all the DCs/DMs and SPs to conduct frequent inspection of LPG distributors/agencies and authorised shops and punish anyone indulging in black marketing in their respective districts.
The order also asked the CAF&PD director to look into the matter and take requisite action against such misdeeds, while also requesting the CAF&PD district supply officer/assistant director to help the DCs and SPs concerned in this regard.
The review meeting held under the chairmanship of Dr Suresh Babu was also attended by top government officials including director general of police and administrative secretaries and discussed several issues related to the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic in the state and steps and procedures taken up to combat and contain any possible spread of the disease.
During the review meeting, several issues including distribution of rice grain were brought up for discussion with special mention of the Andro assembly constituency which has a healthy number of NFSA beneficiaries. The meeting noted the need for carrying out inspection to find out the required allocation for non-card holders of the area.
It was brought to light during the meeting that DCs while issuing permit to wholesalers should include records of purchase along with the items and furthermore, wholesalers shall not be allowed to operate without the permit. Officials present were also advised to take strict actions against those wholesalers who are not operational during this period. Strict regulation of prescribed government guidelines including maintaining social distancing were strongly stressed in the meeting, which also emphasised that major centres still operating during the lockdown/curfew namely Malom Oil Depot, Sekmai Bottling Plant and ISBT will be subjected to routine sensitisation by MAHUD to contain any possible spread of COVID-19.
It was also informed during the meeting that transport department will be paying Rs 1000 to drivers of goods carriers and Rs 500 to the assistant drivers for every trip. For drivers and assistants of petrol trucks, the amount will be given from Imphal West DC’s fund at Khuman Lampak. Additionally, the amount for drivers and assistant of LPG Bullet trucks will be handed over by manager of respective bottling plants from the funds of Imphal West DC.
It was also stressed that detailed information of population of Manipur should be finalised.
Moreover, instructions were given for strict observance of the protocols of Health Department and for collecting report on hiking price of rice grain. The necessity for finalisation of price for essential goods of CAF&PD was also highlighted.


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