GOALPARA, Sept 10 - The district administration recently carried out market inspection to check the prices of essential commodities in the district which have become a common feature these days.
The team of enforcement officials including that from Civil Supplies and Consumers Affairs department and also from the Sales Tax led by ADC Dhiman Kr Choudhury who during routine inspections of Goalpara market observed that the soaring prices of essential commodities is primarily due to certain malpractices indulged in by a section of unscrupulous traders who charge exorbitant prices from gullible customers as the team found out during checking of two grocery shops namely, M/s Ashalota Store ( proprietor: Mohan Kr Roy) and M/s Anamika Store ( proprietor, Moloy Saha) in the New Market, Opposite ASTC Goalpara.
Upon inspection of the purchase papers, the Supply officials found that these stores were realising rates of various pulses at around 15% above their purchase prices from the customers, which according to them is illegal as per the Essential Commodity Act, 1955 and also as per the minutes of the meeting held at the DC�s Office on 2.7.16.
The Sales Tax Department has registered a case against M/s Ashalota Store for not issuing cash memos to the customers.
The team on a visit to the main vegetable, mutton, chicken and fish markets found that no wholesale rates were written but instead the retail prices of the vegetables were displayed to the customers on their display board in front of the shops.
The enforcement officials found the rates of the commodities as follows: potato: Rs 20; onion: Rs 20; tomato: Rs 40; cabbage: Rs 40; jika: Rs 30; bhol: Rs 20; ladies� finger: Rs 55; cucumber: Rs 40; carrot: Rs 110; bean: Rs 95; capsicum:Rs 90; kumura(joha): Rs 40; kumura (local): Rs 30; squash: Rs 30; potol: Rs 40; brinjal: Rs 40; local chicken: Rs 260; broiler chicken: Rs 95; mutton: Rs 300-400; catla fish (local): Rs 200; rohu fish (local-cut pieces): Rs 800 and so on.
In this regard, the local people have complained that the display boards should be of standard dimensions as it will enable the customers to see the prices of the products before buying and also to make price comparison in the market. Also, these people have questioned the accuracy of the digital electronic balance used by most of the shopkeepers and urged the legal metrology section of the Department of Weights and Measures to check all the electronic balances for their accuracy, in all the commercial establishments across the district.
Apart from this, the Sales Tax Department has registered cases against two cloth shops at Boro Bazar namely M/s Bongaigaon Store and M/s Tanusree for not issuing cash memos while a total of 30 bags of banned plastic carry bags were seized from the market.
Talking to this correspondent, ADC Dhiman Kr Choudhury said that issuing of cash memos to customers should be made compulsory to check the menace of tax evasion by these traders. He also said that there will be dual benefit� on the one hand, the State will be able to further increase sales tax collection while on the other, the prices will be controlled if people become more aware and purchase goods against cash memos.