Money

Market check stepped up as Tihar approaches

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 18, 2016-The government has stepped up market inspection in the Kathmandu Valley to ensure consumers do not get cheated during the shopping rush that traditionally precedes the Tihar festival which occurs in the next fortnight.

The move followed a surge in complaints about adulteration of various types of food products, mainly sweets and dried fruits, and fraudulent pricing ahead of the festival.

The Ministry of Supplies has ramped up market inspection in coordination with the Department of Supply Management (DoSM), Department of Food Technology and Quality Control and Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, said Surya Prasad Shrestha, spokesperson for the ministry.

“Since Monday, we have started mobilising five teams daily

to oversee shops that sell sweets and dried fruits in particular,”

he said.

To make market monitoring more effective, the ministry will send out 10 teams daily from next Sunday. Such teams will also be dispatched to locations outside the valley, according to Shrestha.

As per DoSM records, cases of adulteration of sweet meats go up sharply during Tihar when such items are widely consumed. Meanwhile, prices of dried

fruits go up in an unnatural manner ahead of this festival. Such malpractices have once again started surfacing in the valley with the approach of Tihar.

A market inspection carried out by the DoSM on Monday showed that even well known sweet outlets such as Aagan and Rameshworam Sweets and Snacks were engaged in unprofessional conduct.

The DoSM confiscated date-expired food items from a Rameshworam outlet on New Road and destroyed them. The authorities also found that the shop did not have a licence to operate.

Likewise, department officials took Aagan, a subsidiary of Pashupati Foods, to task for failing to meet sanitation standards and selling food products beyond their expiry dates. Gautam Sweets on New Road, popularly known as Tiptop Samosa, was found using inedible colours in its products.

The department also seized large amounts of dried fruits from retail outlets in Chabahil and Baneshwor. Jay Shree Ram Store, Nimesh Brothers and PK Store in Chabahil and Shree Krishna Foods in New Baneshwor were caught overcharging customers for cashew nut, pistachio and almond.

DoSM Director General

Gokul Prasad Dhital said they would be meeting with major importers and wholesalers of dried fruits on Tuesday to discuss a possible price range within which the products must be sold during Tihar.

“Based on the price range

suggested by traders, we will carry out market monitoring to stabilise prices of dried fruits,” he said.

Published: 18-10-2016 08:58

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