The market is getting crowded. People are in buying spree for Dashain. And this is the time that shopkeepers tend to suddenly increase the price of everything. Price of essential goods like rice, lentils, oil, sugar and vegetables have already gone up. Their demand will increase in the coming days and weeks. In the absence of effective monitoring from the government, shopkeepers will go on a price hike war.
Nepal Bureau of Standards & Metrology (NBSM) is entrusted to monitor the market and fine those who break the law. However, their “surprise” market monitoring rarely yields the desired results. One, the market knows when the NBSM people are coming. Two, shopkeepers blame that the government officials are only in the market to milk some money for Dashain. Last week, shopkeepers at Ranjana Mall in New Road threatened and chased away NBSM officials who were there to monitor the market.
The government officials should only go to the market with adequate preparation, and not make a mockery of the system at a time when the people need to feel that there is a presence of effective government.
NBSM should ensure that the market is monitored throughout the year and not just during festivals. When shopkeepers know that the government officials could come to their shop at any time then only they will not try and cheat the customers. The monitoring should be carried out in major market places across the country, and not just in a few big cities.
The presence of Nepal Police at Naya Bus Park to ease the advance booking is a welcome step. People feel that there is someone who can listen to their concerns, if and when needed. Nepal Police does a really good job of punishing buses that carry passengers on their rooftops. We urge NBSM to effectively monitor the market, not just during festival times but throughout the year so that the people will know that their government is working to ease their life.