Govt intensifies market inspection

Kathmandu, September 22

In a bid to control possible fraudulent practices in the market ahead of Dashain and Tihar, the government has intensified inspections in the market starting today.

According to the Department of Supply and Consumer Welfare Protection (DoSCWP), the government body responsible to control possible black-marketing in goods and services, it has started carrying out special inspections in the market besides the regular monitoring to control possible threats of acts of black-marketing ahead of the two major festivals, from today.

The government inspection team, according to DoSCWP officials, will basically focus on festive markets where there are high chances of anomalies.

“Unscrupulous traders are more active during festivals and chances of malpractices from such traders are higher during festivities because consumption rate of goods and services is high during such periods,” Laxman Shrestha, director of DoSCWP, told The Himalayan Times, adding that the department has deployed multiple monitoring teams on a regular basis in the market from today.

According to Shrestha, traders are basically found cheating consumers in terms of quality and price. “Monitoring reports show that cases related to selling of substandard and date-expired products are high in the market. Similarly, overcharging for goods and services is another problem,” he said.

Moreover, during the market monitoring carried out at 30 big and small firms by the department today, most of them were found compromising on the quality. Government monitoring on Wednesday had even found some renowned supermarket chains selling date-expired products.

Urging traders to maintain quality of their products and services, Shrestha informed that the government will take legal action against wrong-doers under the Black Marketing and Some Other Social Offences and Punishment Act, 1975.

In the meantime, consumer rights activists have suggested the government to carry out result-oriented monitoring in the market.

“If anomalies are to be controlled and rights of consumers are to be protected, the government should not only increase inspection activities in terms of volume, but should also set examples by monitoring big firms and taking serious action if they are found guilty,” Jyoti Baniya, president of Forum for Protection of Consumers’ Right, said.