Businessmen want end to syndicate system

Kathmandu, July 27:

Speakers at an interaction organised here today said that syndicate system was causing hike in prices of essentials.

President of Kailali Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Gopi Hamal said transport fares have doubled due to the syndicate system, adding that transporters were demanding two-way fares.

“At a programme organised by KCCI, transporters barred people from discussing the pros and cons of syndicate system. A large number of ‘commandos’ deployed by transporters arrived at the programme venue and began thrashing everyone and damaging everything,” he told mediapersons.

He said local authorities were doing nothing to prevent transporters from thrashing businessmen. “One businessman had to be rescued from the grip of Seti-Mahakali Truck Entrepreneurs Committee (SMTEC),” he added.

General secretary of the Forum for Protection of Consumers’ Rights Jyoti Baniya said the existing law recognises the syndicate system as a crime against consumers.

“Though transporters deny implementing the syndicate system, they gradually create a situation in which people are compelled to pay fares fixed by them,” he said, calling the government to discourage such practices.

He appreciated the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI)’s decision to go all out against the syndicate system. “The syndicate system is prevalent in other sectors as well, but is more visible in the transportation sector.”Baniya also claimed that prices of essentials would go down by 30 per cent if the syndicate system was abolished. FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi claimed that his organisation had called transporters to develop entrepreneurship and skills to compete in the market instead of enforcing the syndicate system.

“We have initiated a campaign against syndicate system of all types,” he added.

President of Federation of Nepali National Transport Entrepreneurs Dinesh Bhandary said transporters had not adopted the syndicate system.