DoSM loses power to inspect markets

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Market monitoring will now be handled by the provincial and local governments

Apr 11, 2018-The Department of Supplies Management (DoSM) has become almost functionless with the government in the process of merging the DoSM with the Department of Commerce. The department is also being relieved from the task of market monitoring which will now be handled by the provincial and local governments. 

Earlier, the DoSM used to carry out market inspection by itself in the Kathmandu Valley while it used to conduct the task in coordination with the district administrative offices at locations outside the Valley. 

But now, the present constitution has delegated the authority to local governments to conduct the task of market monitoring. 

Mukunda Prasad Poudel, joint-secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, said the ministry has already forwarded the directives to the provincial and local governments for carrying out market monitoring. According to him, the ministry has mandated the vice-chairman at the local levels to coordinate the market inspection. 

The government has appointed the joint-secretary at Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Administration as the focal person to look after market inspection at the local levels. Poudel said the local authorities would be carrying out the inspection mainly on food items, agricultural products, health and education services. “If any complications arise during the inspection, the central government will assist the local bodies.”

According to Poudel, the monitoring of the large firms along with the sectors will be carried out by the provincial and the central government. He added that the government has also started the process to merge the DoSM with the Commerce Department after the government decentralised the authority of market inspection along with formation of sub-national governments. This move has left the DoSM in limbo for almost a month.

“Market inspection has come to a complete halt as a number of our staff have already been transferred and our department’s future is still unknown,” said DoSM officials. 

The DoSM used to deploy an average of three teams to conduct market inspection in the Valley. In the past few months, the department had been aggressively carrying out its duty despite numerous instances of failing to take action against the guilty. 

 Just last month, the department had to stop its market inspection due to direct intervention from the Supplies Ministry, as the department had targeted action against the top business groups involved in Nepal’s health and education sectors. 

The intervention was seen as a retaliatory move for targeting the top business groups in Nepal.

Norvic International Hospital in Thapathali, Vayodha Hospitals in Balkhu Chok, Neuro Hospital in Bansbari, Grande International Hospital on Tokha Road, Ishan Children’s Nursing and Maternity Home in Basundhara and B&B Hospital in Lalitpur were among some of the businesses being scrutinised by the department. 

Similarly, the regulator had also been investigating GEMS School, Dhapakhel; Rato Bangala School, Patan; Premier International School, Satdobato and Chandbagh School, Bansbari.

Published: 11-04-2018 07:48

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