KATHMANDU, Sept 22: Consumer rights activists have objected to the implementation of the Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) by the government, saying the move is aimed at benefiting a few mobile traders.
The Nepal Telecommunication Authority implemented MDMS from September 14 to control the unauthorized import of mobile phones entering Nepal illegally. However, there has been protest against the decision as it is said that the government has implemented the MDMS to benefit certain traders.
The consumer rights activists allege that MDMS was implemented by the government under the pressure of certain traders who practice cartels in the market, and is against the consumers’ interests and fundamental rights. According to them, this system has been implemented to maintain a monopoly in the mobile market for certain mobile companies and traders and demanded the immediate withdrawal of MDMS.
Madhav Timilsina, president of the Consumer Rights Investigation Forum and a consumer rights activist, accused the state of doing the work of curtailing the mobile business in order to benefit limited individuals and traders. He said that it is not fair for the state to implement MDMS for limited business on the eve of elections.
Timilsina alleged that even though the principle of consumerism states that the state or service providers should provide information about goods and services, Nepali mobile traders have not done any work to make the consumers aware of the features of the mobile phones they sell. He said that even when most mobile companies were giving misleading advertisements, government agencies remained silent. He said that MDMS implemented by the government should be abolished immediately.
Similarly, General Secretary of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal, Bishnu Timilsina said that the government has implemented MDMS on mobile phones for the benefit of only a handful of people. He said that the government has also scrapped the privilege of bringing two mobile phones while returning to Nepal during the festival from abroad.
According to him, there are limited traders who import mobile phones and distribute them in Nepal and there are at most 13 such companies. He said that businessmen have forced the government to implement policies so that 13 companies maintain a monopoly in the Nepali market and earn huge wealth.