KATHMANDU, July 20: The government collected Rs 33.37 million in cash fines from 1,347 firms which flouted consumer law in fiscal year 2020/21.
According to the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection (DoCSCP), of 4,779 firms cross-checked in the last fiscal year, the department took action against 4,041 firms. The department also destroyed substandard goods worth Rs 39.85 million during the review period.
The DoCSCP has been conducting market inspection through its central office in Kathmandu and its offices located in Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj and Dhangadhi. The department collected cash fines of Rs 23.98 million from 1,035 unscrupulous firms in the Kathmandu Valley alone.
The Consumer Act has a provision to slap a fine of Rs 200,000 to Rs 300,000, if the quality of the product is tampered with, artificial scarcity is created in the market, and new label is placed on goods that are inconsumable. Similarly, stores that do not display price lists and business registration certificates can be fined Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000. According to the act, somebody who does not cooperate with monitoring activities can be fined up to Rs 20,000.
The act has empowered the department to check misconducts in the market. However, the department has often been criticized for not carrying out market inspection in adequate numbers.