<br>The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution headed by Ram Vilas Paswan in an office memorandum dated April 13 sought "intimation by all officer/staff of Department of Consumer Affairs regarding their unwillingness/continuation of their services in the department".
The memorandum, accessed by IANS, stated: "... all the officers/officials who are unwilling to continue in this department may intimate the same to establishment section by April 20 so that necessary action may be taken for relieving them."
Amid COVID threat, the Department of Consumer Affairs has a crucial role to play as it is responsible for maintaining food supplies and distribution.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is one of the two departments under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution. It was constituted as a separate department in June 1997 to give a fillip to the nascent consumer movement in the country.
In fight against the deadly coronvirus pandemic, the department is responsible for the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act, implementation of the Essential Commodities Act and prevention of black marketing and maintenance of supply under the Essential Commodities Act.
The department's main task is also to monitor the prices and availability of essential commodities.
In view of the coronavirus infection and the subsequent lockdown, it was found that many officers and staff were not attending offices and it became a tough task to manage the department, sources said.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at [email protected])