Our Roles/ Functions
The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs previously known as "Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department" is one of the oldest Department in the State entrusted with the responsibility of implementing one of the prime social sector programme of providing "Food Security" to one and all in general and to the vulnerable sections of the Society in particular by way of providing foodgrains like rice, wheat, and Atta and other essential commodities like Sugar, K.oil and Petroleum Products besides, protecting the consumer rights.
The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs has been performing the following prime functions:
- Public Distribution System
- Regulation of Supplies, LPG and other Petroleum Projects etc.
- Price/Market Control
- Redressal of Consumer Grievances and Protection of Consumer Rights
- Consumer Awareness Programme
Public Distribution System
The Public Distribution System envisages the system of management of food economy and distribution of foodgrains at affordable prices.
The PDS is although supplement in nature has almost all along helped to ensure availability of un-interrupted supplies of foodgrains in equitable basis at affordable prices not only giving relief to the consumer masses but also exercising stabilizing influence upon the prices of these goods. The PDS is operated under the joint responsibility of Central and State Government. The Central Government through FCI has the responsibility for procurement, Storage, Transportation and bulk allocation of foodgrains, the State Government has the responsibility of making allocation within the State, identification of families, issue of ration cards and distribution of foodgrains to the ration families.
The PDS has evolved country wide in 1960 to meet the critical food shortages in urban areas, later on extending to tribal blocks and areas of high incidence of poverty in 1970’s and 1980’s till June
1992 When a general entitlement scheme for all consumers without any specific target was launched in the shape of Revamped Public Distribution System (RPDS).
In June 1997 the Government of India launched the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) with the focus on poor replacing the RPDS. The allocation to the foodgrains to the Sate/UT’s was made by the Government of India on the basis of average consumption in the past i.e. average Annual off - take of foodgrains for the PDS during the past 10 years at the time of introduction of TPDS.
The State Government from 1st February, 2016 has implemented National Food Security Act, 2013. Under this Act, the eligible beneficiaries under priority households (PHH) are entitled to receive 5kgs of food grains per soul per month at subsidized prices of Rs.3/2/1 per kg for rice/wheat/coarse grains. However, the existing beneficiaries under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY), which constitute the poorest of the poor, will continue to receive 35 kg of food grains per household per month.
Under Non-Priority Households (NPHH) category the beneficiaries are provided foodgrains at a scale of 05 kg/soul per month at a subsidized price of Rs.12 per Kg for wheat, Rs.13 per Kg for Atta & Rs.15 per Kg for Rice.
At present the department is providing highly subsidized foodgrains to 74.13 lakh souls under Priority Households (PHH) of the state at a rate of Rs 3 and Rs 2 for Rice and Wheat respectively. The department is also providing subsidized foodgrains to around 45 lakh souls under Non-Priority Households (NPHH) @ Rs. 12, Rs. 13 & Rs. 15 for Wheat, Atta and Rice Respectively.
Safeguarding Consumer Interests
The Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs is continuously taking effective steps to protect the interest of consumers in the State by strictly enforcing the State/central Laws, and organizing consumer awareness programmes. The Department has established consumer courts in the State. The State Consumer Disputes Redressal commission at the State level and two Divisional consumer fora in Jammu and Kashmir Divisions. The State Commission is headed by its President who is a retired judge of the Hon’ble High Court. The Divisional Fora are headed by in-service District and Session Judges. All three Fora are fully constituted. The Government has also approved for setting up of 8 District Foras, 4 each in Jammu and Kashmir Divisions. The requisite staff for the District fora has also been sanctioned and posts referred to the SSRB for making recruitment. Steps are being taken to make the District fora functional as early as possible.
Legal Metrology Department
The Department earlier known as Weights and Measures Department is mainly responsible for enforcement of Metric System i.e. MKS (Meter, Kilogram, second) replacing the outdated FPS (Foot pound and second), to bring uniformity in respect of Weights and Measures in trade and commerce and regulate sale of goods in package form with MRP, packaging Date, Net Weight, Name of the Manufacturer/ importer etc distinctly indicated thereon. The J&K Consumer Protection Act has been amended, empowering the officers of Legal and Metrology Department to institute cases in consumer courts on behalf of aggrieved consumers. The Department creates awareness among consumers regarding their rights and receives complaints against unfair trade practices for appropriate action against the defaulters.
Regulation Of Supplies, LPG And Other Petroleum Products
Various Oil Companies are providing services to the public of the State by supplying K.Oil and LPG through their own network of distributors and retailers. The State is allocated about 7000 KL of K.Oil on monthly basis which is allotted by the Central Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The CAPD and Legal Metrology Departments are the regulatory authorities and frequently make inspections both at the level of LPG filling Station, stockiests, retailers of K.Oil outlets and LPG.
The prices of specified essential commodities are fixed by the Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs in the cities of Jammu and Srinagar in consultation with the representatives of concerned trade, representatives of concerned Govt. Department and the consumer protection organizations while deliberating upon the issue factors like input costs, wholesale prices, distribution expenses and profit margin of the wholesaler/retailers are taken into account and only then the prices are fixed. To ensure adherence to the notified prices checking squads are in position.
In the districts this responsibility is discharged by the concerned Deputy Commissioner, who are the District Controllers.
The Act also provides for establishment of State and District Consumer Protection Councils. These Councils are duly constituted. The State Consumer Protection Council stands constituted under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister for FCS&CA.
The District Consumer Protection Councils (DCPCs) have been set up in each district under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner in accordance with the provision of consumer Protection Act with the objective to promote and protect the rights of consumers.