Govt to introduce Act to ensure consumer rights, effective market monitoring

Kathmandu, Jan. 28:  Minister for Supplies Jayanta Chand said on Sunday that the government was introducing an act to ensure the consumers' rights and make the market monitoring more effective.

The new act would make the government at the central, provincial and local levels more responsible to monitor the market and control artificial price hikes of goods and cartel, Minister Chand said while addressing a workshop on ‘Situation of Price Hikes and Market Monitoring’ organised here today.

Stating that monitoring agencies did not take action against the culprits in the spot due to weaknesses in the existing Black-marketing Act, he said that the rights of the monitoring bodies to take action against the culprits on the spot would be provisioned in the new act.

He said that nobody has the right to cheat the consumers by taking unnatural profit by hiking the prices of goods at their will.

Talking about the price hike of the construction materials, he said that the government was seriously analysing the price hikes of the construction materials and it would take action against the wrong-doers.

Responding to the queries of journalists, Minister Chand said that the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has adjusted the price of fuel based on auto pricing system rather than increasing the fuel price to make only profit.

He said that the NOC re-enforced the auto pricing system from last month after the loss of the NOC grew rapidly due to increase in the fuel prices in the international market.

Kedarnath Sharma, Chief District Officer, Kathmandu District Administration Office, said that the market monitoring failed to be effective due to the presence of more monitoring agencies.

He also said that there was no right to the monitoring bodies to take action on the spot even if they nabbed culprits during the monitoring.

He stressed the need for an effective policy and act to control the black-marketing by taking action against all criminals.

Chairman of National Consumers Forum Nepal Prem Lal Maharjan said that the monitoring agencies had become useless as they were only focusing on monitoring rather than taking any action against the black-marketers.

He blamed that the government did not listen to the voice of consumers to control the rocketing prices hiked by the entrepreneurs.

“The government is working in favour of the entrepreneurs, not of the consumers,” Maharjan said.

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