VIJAYAWADA: Acting on the complaints received from public and farmers over sale of substandard seeds and fertilisers, Vigilance and Enforcement (V&E) officials conducted surprise inspections at various places in the State and filed 22 cases under 6A of the Essential Commodities Act, including three criminal cases, against errant traders. The raids on fertiliser shops and establishments, which started from Tuesday in all 23 districts across the State, were welcomed by the farmers, said Vigilance and Enforcement director general Sankha Bratha Bagchi.
Speaking to TNIE, the DG said that they are ensuring a zero tolerance policy towards the sale of substandard seeds and fertilisers to the farmers, which is causing losses to them, and warned of taking stringent action against traders flouting rules. During the inspection on Tuesday, Vigilance officials inspected more than 50 fertiliser shops in the State and found 10 traders indulging in irregularities.
On Wednesday, more than 100 teams of vigilance officials carried out inspections at 100 shops at various places in the state and registered 11 cases under section 6(a) of the Essential Commodities Act and one criminal case against a trader for selling spurious seeds to the farmers. “Due to the sale of spurious seeds and substandard chemicals, farmers are facing losses, pushing them into serious financial troubles. In order to avoid such a situation, we are trying our best to ensure farmers get quality seeds and fertilisers,” Bagchi explained.
He said out of the 100 complaints received to Vigilance through the toll-free number, more than 60 per cent are related to excess pricing of edible oils and quality of seeds and fertilisers. “With the Kharif season just a month away, we formed a special plan of action to help the farming community,” he added.
Explaining about the raids carried out to control hoarding of edible oils and collecting excess prices more than MRP from consumers, Bagchi said a total of 2,689 cases under Legal Metrology act, 113 cases under Food Safety and Standard Act, 6(a) of Essential Commodities Act and 18 criminal cases were registered during the inspection conducted from March 6 to May 17.
“After the impact on imports due to the Ukraine-Russia war, there is a huge demand for oil and we organised an inspection drive to curb hoarding and black marketing of edible oils and oilseeds to arrest rising retail prices,” Vigilance and Enforcement director general explained.