Govt told to ensure smooth supply of daily essentials

Kathmandu, March 26

National Human Rights Commission urged the government to accord utmost priority to health of citizens amid the coronavirus contagion.

“We call on the authorities to ensure easy access of daily essentials to citizens, especially differently-abled persons, elderly, children and the poor, who have been in self-quarantine in the wake of the lockdown imposed by the government,” read a press release issued by the rights body.

The NHRC also urged the government to make special provision for health and safety of doctors, healthcare workers and employees mobilised in medical treatment and screening of COVID-19.

Doctors and healthcare workers are more vulnerable to infection as they work on the frontline.

The NHRC praised the government’s decision to confine people to their homes as a preventive measure against the spread of the deadly disease and appealed to all to respect the order for the sake of their safety and that of others.

It also urged the government to take action against anyone who deliberately defied the lockdown.

The rights body urged the government to bring to book persons or groups involved in black-marketing, illegal hoarding, creating artificial shortage of daily consumer goods, essential drugs and cooking gas in the market.

The National Human Rights Commission also urged the government and the business community to take concrete steps against black-marketing, steep price hike, sale and distribution of substandard goods, besides carrying out market monitoring on a regular basis.

It also appealed to consumers to act responsibly while exercising their constitutional and legal rights against unethical trade practices.

Article 44 of the constitution states that every consumer shall have the right to obtain quality goods and services.

The government has adopted an economic and industrial policy to protect consumers’ interest by maintaining trade fairness and discipline by making national economy competitive while ending activities such as black-marketing, monopoly in market and creating artificial scarcity.

Any person involved in unfair trade practices is liable to imprisonment from two to five years or fine from Rs 400,000 to Rs 600,000, or both as per the Consumer Protection Act-2018.