Three pharmacies face music for black-marketing masks

Pokhara, March 5

Following complaints of black-marketing of surgical face masks, the government in Gandaki Province has stepped up monitoring of pharmacies of late.

A team of Provincial Market Monitoring Committee monitored over a dozen pharmacies at the major market areas in Pokhara today. Some of the shops thus monitored were found to be charging up to threefold the usual price for masks. Action has been taken against them.

The monitoring team, with the help of police, got the Mahendrapul-based Syangja Medical to close down after finding that the shop was selling N95 masks for up to Rs 450 per piece. Similarly, action was also taken against Gandak Pari Pharmacy at Hospital Chowk of Western Regional Hospital after the medical shop was found to be selling surgical masks at three times the actual price. Masks worth about 10 rupees were sold for up to 30 rupees.

Likewise, the monitoring team confiscated masks from Nirdesh Pharma at Hospital Chowk, which was found to be refusing to sell masks to customers with the intention of black-marketing.

The owners of the three shops have been told to present themselves at the Industry Commerce and Consumer Interest Directorate tomorrow.