Consumers suffer as market anomalies grow

Published On: August 19, 2016 03:45 AM NPT By: Sujan Dhungana

KATHMANDU, Aug 19: Recent inspections conducted by different government agencies lay bare the extent of anomalies in the market. Food producers and traders are openly fleecing consumers in terms of quantity and quality.

A government inspection team, on Wednesday, found that the state-owned Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) was sending substandard products to the market. Two days ago, Big Mart - a reputed supermarket chain - was also found selling substandard products to consumers.

“It is unfortunate to note that such leading brand are cheating consumers,” an official of the Department of Supply Management and Consumer Protection (DoSMCP) told Republica.

Market inspectors found number of outdated products at Kalopul-based warehouse of Big Mart. Similarly, DDC was found putting new dates on date expired products. The government has sealed the warehouse of Big Mart and mulling over taking action against DDC.

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC), few months ago, filed separate cases against 207 firms, including DDC, charging them of selling substandard products in the market.

“Such market anomalies are increasing with every passing year. This shows the extent of lawlessness especially in issues related to consumers,” Madhav Timalsina, president of Consumers Right Investigation Forum (CRIF), told Republica, adding: “Traders are walking away scot free taking advantage of lax government and toothless laws.”

Involvement of DDC in market anomalies shows that even state agencies are not behind when it comes to fleecing consumers.

“Such activities cannot be controlled those in the power show serious concern to uphold consumer rights. Strong and result-oriented market intervention from concerned government agencies is a must,” he added.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Supply (MoS) has said that it has begun a new market monitoring campaign, targeting big traders as well as small retailers. “We have intensified a campaign to control black-marketing and other anomalies in the market,” Ananda Ram Regmi, a spokesperson for the ministry, told Republica.

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