Govt to regulate Fair Price Shops in J&K, control order in offing   

By: Ibni Maqbool

Srinagar, June 28: In a significant move to ensure transparency, the Jammu & Kashmir Government is mulling to come up with a comprehensive control order for regulation of fair price shops in the Union Territory.

Documents accessed by The Precious Kashmir reveal that the department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is coming up with a comprehensive order to streamline the issuance of fair price shop licenses and to remove the loopholes in the existing FPS policy.

“The department has devised a comprehensive control order which shall be placed before the competent authority very shortly. All FPS licenses shall be regulated by the said order, once notified,” read the documents.

The move is being contemplated after a J&K High Court directive and different agencies alerting the authorities about violation of norms in allotment of FPS licenses.

On November 30, 2018, the J&K High Court said that the government is expected to come up with sturdy guidelines, norms and regulations for grant of fair price shop licenses in consonance with and compliant with mandate of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

On December 28, 2021, J&K’s Anti-Corruption Bureau(ACB) brought into notice of the department that it is probing a case pertaining to issuance of FPS licenses in Budgam district in violation of norms in 2017.

“ ACB vide subsequent communications have also sought all the original  files lying with administrative department along with the nominal roll/ designations and recent places of postings of all those employees who remained associated with the approval process for issuance of FPS licenses for Budgam district during the year 2017 and onwards,” the documents state.

The Crime Branch also informed the department that the transparent procedure of inviting applications for FPS licenses is not in vogue.

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