HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A top officer of the government’s market monitoring agency has said that market inspectors must get on-the-spot punishment rights
for the effective enforcement of consumer laws.
“If there is no such right for inspectors, market irregularities will not stop,” said director general at the Department of Commerce Narayan Prasad Bidari.
“The department has included on-spot punishment rights for market inspectors in the proposed amendment to Consumer Protection Act 2007,” he said, adding the department will expedite market monitoring drive soon targeting problem areas.
“We can’t inspect all shops (wholesale and retail), so a sampling method will be applied in the coming days,” Bidari said. According to director general Bidari, there are about 22,000-25,000 retails shops in Kathmandu valley — Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts — and all the shops cannot be covered by a market inspector.
Department has five staff in the market monitoring section and the post of the market inspection officer has been lying vacant since last month after Kamal Bahadur Thapa was promoted as under secretary and transferred to the Ministry of General Administration.
In the programme held today, consumer rights activists urged the department to appoint new staff and speed up marketing monitoring. “Market monitoring is a mandatory duty of the government, therefore, regulating agencies cannot escape from it,” said general secretary of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal Jyoti Baniya.
“There are large irregularities in the medicine and food sectors, therefore,
the Department of Drug Administration, and Department of Food Technology and Quality Control should also come into action,” he said.
Meanwhile, regulating agencies have formed a timetable for market monitoring providing a specific day to a particular business.