KATHMANDU, March 14: Senior government officials have suggested consumers not to hoard products excessively as it affects the supply and distribution in the market.
In an interaction program organized by the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal on Friday in Kathmandu, the representatives from various government bodies have suggested consumers to limit their purchases according to their needs only.
Due to the wide spread of the coronavirus, people have faced scarcity in day to day products like masks, sanitizers, food products, LPG gas and many more. The fear of low supply has given traders the opportunity to increase the price of products and hide the products from consumers.
According to Sagar Mishra, head of inspection department of Department of Commerce Supply and Consumer Protection, it is natural for customers to get scared regarding the scarcity of various products but hoarding products by consumers will only affect themselves.
“All of us are well known about the situation created by the coronavirus. There is fear among all the people regarding the product scarcity as the supply of various products has been limited,” said Mishra, “It is natural for us to get scared and stock up on our necessities but people have been hoarding products more than they need and some traders have increased the price of products and have also created scarcity in the market.”
The Department of Commerce Supply and Consumer Protection has created a toll free number of 1137 where consumers can complain or report about the traders who sell products for more than the actual price.
According to Matina Joshi Vaidya, Director General of Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, the hoarding of products has directly affected the people who are unable to purchase products in large quantities.
“Hoarding of products has not entirely affected on supply and distribution in the market but those people who do not have the capacity to purchase all the products at a single time have been affected,” said Vaidya, “There is enough stock in the market and purchasing according to our needs only can easily fulfill the demand of the people without creating scarcity in the market.”
As per Mishra, after the inspection, the department has fined Rs 600,000 to 700,000 to the traders who have found to have cheated consumers.
“We have enough stock to fulfill the demand of the people but hoarding of products and black marketing by traders have disrupted the smooth supply of products,” said Mishra, “There are traders who have unnecessarily increased the price of various products and we have fined them but people should not unnecessarily hoard the products.”