Intensive market monitoring begins today

Kathmandu, June 5

In the bid to curb prevailing anomalies in food products and other essential goods in the market, the government today announced launch of a week-long intensive market monitoring in the Kathmandu Valley from Tuesday.

Officials of the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest (DoSMPCI) — the government body responsible to control market malpractices — said that the week-long market inspection will be stricter than the traditional market monitoring as raids will be carried out on all small to big firms and action will be taken on-the-spot against the offenders.

“Market anomalies are on the rise as traders have become less fearful of government action, and are openly flouting existing laws. However, by organising an intensive monitoring in the market for a week, we intend to set an example that anti-consumer activities are penalised,” Kumar Prasad Dahal, director general of DoSMPCI, said.

According to him, the DoSMPCI has formed six separate teams of market inspectors for the week-long intensive market monitoring to ensure that inspection is carried out in every sector.

The DoSMPCI monitoring teams comprise of DoSMPCI officials, officials from the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology (NBSM), Nepal Police, consumer rights activists, media persons, officials of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and representatives of District Administration Office.

The DoSMPCI monitoring will be focused on six different sectors — dairy products and water; meat and slaughterhouses; essential drugs; hotels and sweet shops; petroleum products and construction materials; and transportation.

“Separate dedicated teams will carry out inspection in these sectors,” informed Dahal, adding that a hotline telephone service will be set up within the department to take complaints of consumers.

The DoSMPCI has also formed a rapid-response team to address the complaints filed by consumers via the dedicate telephone line. According to Dahal, the rapid-response team will be on standby 24 hours a day to address consumers’ complaints.

As per the schedule prepared by DoSMPCI, it will carry out inspection of dairy products and water available in the market on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Dahal also informed that the government is in the final stage of drafting Consumer Protection Act 2017, which has addressed various consumer-related  issues.

DoSMPCI has also called a meeting with traders on Tuesday to discuss effective ways to control market anomalies. Officials of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Petroleum Dealers Association of Nepal, Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Retailers Association of Nepal, Nepal LP Gas Industry Association, Sweet and Snacks Association of Nepal, among others, have been invited to the meeting.