Govt determined to control black market during festivals: Supply Minister



KATHMANDU, Sept 20: Minister for Supplies Shiva Kumar Mandal said that the ministry is determined to protect the consumer rights by further increasing the monitoring of the market and taking action against those found overcharging customers.

As the Hindus’ greatest festival Dashin and Tihar is in the offing, the price of the items of daily use is about to rise uncontrollably. “But the ministry is determined to control such black market on the eve of and during the festivals,” said Minster Mandal while speaking at the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Wednesday.

“Many dishonest shopkeepers and shop-owners will fleece the customers by overcharging them during Dashain and Tihar and Chhat. The ministry will monitor market during the festival season and will take strict against them,” added Mandal.

Stating that the government had already carried out 17,000 monitoring actions in the last five years, he added that the government is committed to protect consumer rights. He added, “The ministry is doing this to save the customers from fraud people. Such monitoring actions should be done regularly and professionally.”

He also said that the government is preparing to increase the number of low-priced shops as the existing number was not able to match the customers’ demands.

Minister Mandal also said that the government is preparing to move legal proceedings against the traders of Durbarmarga who were caught while charging unreasonably high price to the customers.

A team of Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest led by Minister Mandal had raided the some stores of Durbarmarga earlier this month and sealed half a dozen stores.

“If investigation proves them innocent, the seals would be opened,” added Mandal.

Mandal, on the occasion, also said that the government is preparing to further investigate the state owned Nepal Oil Corporation land deal scam.

A cabinet meeting on Monday decided to sack the NOC Executive Director Gopal Bahadur Khakda, after he was found to have committed financial irregularities worth multi-million rupees while procuring land for building oil storage facilities in different parts of the country.

The NoC was found to have paid four-fold price while buying land plots in Chitwan, Bhairahawa, Jhapa and Sarlahi for fuel storage. And in doing so, some high-level officers also had illegally pocketed handsome commissions.

“The ministry will further investigate on the NOC land deal scam. Even the previous owners of the land have personally promised me to give statement against the NOC officers,” said Mandal.