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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A total of 972 jewelry shops in Odisha were slapped with around Rs 16.45 lakh fine by the State Excise department in the last three years for cheating customers while weighing the precious yellow metal.

Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain informed the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Wednesday that these jewelry shops were penalised for using tampered weighing scales to cheat unsuspecting customers. He said the fine collected from these rogue shops amounted to Rs 16, 45,500.

Giving details of the break-up, Swain, a BJD MLA from Athagarh, said as per the data available with the department, there are 4,853 registered jewelry shops in Odisha at present.

He said out of this total the Excise department had carried out an inspection at 376 shops in 2018-19 following receipt of consumers’ complaints about their wrong doings. He said another list of 400 shops had been inspected in 2019-20.

Those 776 were found guilty of cheating in the weight of the yellow metal by adopting different means and levied a Rs 12 Lakhs penalty. “That was a huge achievement for the department,” he added.

Even in the Pandemic year (2020-21) the Excise department had cornered more 196 jewelry shops collected of Rs 4,45,500 collective penalty from them for cheating the costumers,” he added.

Stating that the State government is committed to the welfare of the people and provide them hassle-free life in the State, Swain said, “He (the fraudsters) who cheats customers in terms of the weight of selling goods or by any other means will not be spared and they will be strictly punished by the law.”

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