Black marketing slur on four stores

Kathmandu, October 12:

A consumers’ group found four stores in Lalitpur, Kathmandu and Madhyapur Thimi guilty of stashing away gas cylinders, kerosene and charging the amount higher than the market price, during its monitoring before Dashain.

The National Consumers’ Forum (NCF) found Indra Store at Thimi keeping secretly 31 gas cylinders, Manandhar Store at Naya bazaar 190 litres of kerosene on October 8. Surprisingly, Manandhar Store was found unregistered.

Prakash Maharjan of Bhol Dhoka in Lalitpur was found hiding 1.4 kilo litres of kerosene and selling at Rs 85 per litre. He was also found selling food products which had exceeded expiry dates. Kuldas Maharjan, also of the same locality, was hiding seven gas cylinders of three different brands, despite he lacked authorised certificate of any dealer or depot. He was charging Rs 1,400 per cylinder.

Upon bringing the malpractice into the notice, the NCF has urged the District Administration Offices in the three cities to take legal action against the black marketers.

“According to the Black-Marketing Act, a minimum charge of Rs 1,000 and according to the consumer protection act, a minimum three months imprisonment or Rs 50,000 fine has to be levied on the offender,” said Prem Lal Maharjan, the NCF chairman.