Committee indecision cited for failure to check price hike bleeding public dry
Public pay through the nose while Govt fiddles
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 23 2011:
Despite the existence of a Price Fixation Committee of the State Government absence of regular consultation and pathetic indecision among the Committee members have been cited as some chief factors for the failure to curb price hike of essential commodities by the traders.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a top official in the State's Agriculture Department said personnel of various committee and sub-committees of different departments provide regular information with regard to changes in rate of goods prices to the Price Fixation Committee.
The source contended that inspite of such a mechanism in place and vital input placed before the Committee, indecision of the Government panel and alleged political interference in some instances result in the general public made to suffer the impact of random price hike and whims of big traders.
It is informed that for regular monitoring of prices of consumer goods in the market, the Agriculture Department created a post of Market Intelligence Assistant State Agricultural Census Officer under whom three other wings namely Market Intelligence, Agriculture Census and Statistics function.
The official further informed that there are five personnel each assigned to each of the three wings, whose duty is to collect relevant information on existing market price.
These personnel are also known as Primary Price Reporter.
While information concerning Imphal and Khurai Lamlong markets are provided on a daily basis man-power inadequacy in the Department's units at Thoubal, Kakching, Bishnupur and Churachandpur compels collection and submission of data on a weekly basis, the official conceded adding that there are no Primary Price Reporters for Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel and Senapati district.
In addition to submission of report to the Price Fixation Committee, the Governor of Manipur, Central Government, Director (Agriculture), Deputy Commissioners concerned and authorities of Food and Civil Supplies, and Economic Statistics Department are intimated on the prevailing market situation, confided the official.
Further informing that members of the Price Fixation Committee include the Deputy Commissioner concerned and authorities of FCS, Economic Statistics and Agriculture Department, the official said apparent lack of coordination and failure to take a firm decision is invalidating establishment of various units to monitor and control prices of essential commodities.