KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Market anomalies including black marketeering and selling of substandard food are rampant mainly during Dashain and Tihar every year. But the problem seems to be more severe this year with the rising cases of COVID-19.
While the government authorities make promises to control it every year, the consumers fail to realize it to any notable degree as they face hikes in market prices and consumption of low-quality products. This year too, the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection, the main regulatory body to check the market anomalies, has announced to conduct aggressive market inspection during the festive season.
According to the department, it is mobilizing 10 teams as a special task force to carry out market inspection in the Kathmandu Valley, up from four teams in normal times. Rabindra Acharya, spokesperson for the department, said the inspection teams will be mobilized to check the selling of apparel, fuel, food grains, meat products, vegetables and fruits. “Each team will be trained and assigned a separate monitoring area to ensure effective inspection of largely traded goods during Dashain,” he said.
The department itself has admitted that the market is flooded with a large number of expired products as an impact of the five-month-long lockdown. Traders are most likely to exhaust their old stocks mainly during the festivals when shoppers thrive for the festive celebrations.
According to Acharya, the department has directed the government bodies concerned to act accordingly. Apart from the department, the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, district administration offices and local governments have been authorized to conduct market monitoring.