‘Govt bodies not serious about curbing market anomalies’

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 19, 2017-While retailers in the market are found selling sub-standard meat products and short-changing commuters by charging extra fare on public vehicles, members of a high-level body formed to keep track of these malpractices and punish the guilty are found shirking their responsibilities.

This has raised the spectre of dissolution of the Committee for Coordination of Joint Market Monitoring—a special government agency that oversees and facilitates works of different market monitoring bodies. 

Supplies Secretary Prem Bahadur Rai on Sunday warned to dissolve the Committee after members of the body continuously failed to attend the meetings.

The Committee for Coordination of Joint Market Monitoring comprises representatives of 17 government agencies, including the Ministry of Finance (MoF), the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoH), the Ministry of Industry (MoI), the Ministry of Livestock Development, Armed Police Force (APF), the National Vigilance Centre (NVC) and the Press Council.

The committee holds its meetings five to six times a year. But most of the meetings are attended by around 40 percent of the representatives.

“This clearly shows the irresponsible nature of the government bodies towards consumers and why we haven’t been able to control malpractices in the market,” Secretary Rai said, adding, “If all committee members are not present in the next meeting, I will dissolve the body.”

President of the Forum for the Protection of Consumers’ Eye Nepal, Bimala Khanal, said,“The consumers are being forced to consume substandard meat as the Animal Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Act 1998 is yet to be implemented.

It’s disappointing to see the government failing to take actions based on existing law.”

The Act includes provisions that make it mandatory for those selling meat products to obtain a license from the government, maintain good hygiene at slaughterhouses and meat shops, conduct health test of animals before slaughtering them and sell skinless meat. DoSMPCI Director General Kumar Prasad Dahal said the existing Animal Slaughterhouse and Meat Inspection Act 1998 cannot be implemented in its current form. “If we implement the existing law, we will have to shut down all the meat shops in operation.” 

Published: 19-06-2017 08:37

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