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Minister Mandal vows stern action against errant merchants

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 9, 2017-Supplies Minister Shiva Kumar Mandal on Friday said the government would take stern action against stores on Durbar Marg found cheating customers.

He added that honest merchants had nothing to worry about. Shopkeepers on Durbar Marg pulled down their shutters on Thursday in protest after a government market monitoring team sealed a number of branded stores accusing them of charging exorbitant prices.

The sellers said their outlets would remain closed indefinitely. They accused authorities of conducting market inspections to discourage them during the run-up to Dashain and the annual sales bonanza.

Speaking to a delegation from the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) who had come to plead on the traders’ behalf, Mandal said the issue would be resolved through legal procedure. He warned the private sector against cheating the general public.

“The government is open to discussing any matter that makes life difficult for traders, but it will not tolerate cheating customers.”

The delegation was led by FNCCI President Bhawani Rana who had requested that the seals be removed.

On Monday and Wednesday, the market monitoring team sealed nine branded stores including Nike, Reebok, Puma, Bentley and Levis for overcharging customers. Some of the products had a markup of as high as 2,300 percent, officials of the Department of Supply Management said.

The action against high-end stores on Kathmandu’s fanciest shopping street sent Twitter and Facebook abuzz with posts claiming that brands like Nike and Adidas had no presence in Nepal. These global companies, however, have not officially confirmed the claims.

Published: 09-09-2017 09:19

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