KATHMANDU, Aug 22: The Department of Commerce (DoC) has expanded its market monitoring to better protect consumers rights.
The department, which had been monitoring stores dealing on food commodities, drug stores, hotels and eateries so far, has started monitoring mobile service centers, mobile shops and parking areas in the capital from last week.
“We diversified our market monitoring program as unethical business practices are rampant in other areas as well,” Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of DoC, said.
After receiving complaints regarding poor service quality of telecom operators, DoC recently sought clarification from Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) -- the telecom sector regulator.
Similarly, market inspection teams of DOC has started monitoring mobile shops, mobile service centers and parking areas in different parts of the capital. Over the past week, market monitoring teams of DoC monitored New Road-based Cellphone Rescue Center, CTV Mobile and Virgin Mobile. They also monitored parking areas in Pyukha and New Road.
“During our monitoring, we found that CTV Mobile was operating without having business registration certificate,” Prem Prasad Paudel, director of DoC, said. “We, however, found no irregularities in Cell Phone Rescue Center and Virgin Mobile.”
Paudel further added that parking operators in Pyukha and New Road were encroaching roads, affecting vehicular movement. “The parking staffers did not have identification cards and parking charge was mentioned nowhere in the area,” said Paudel. “Though parking operators are allowed to charge Rs 5 per hour for two-wheelers, we found that they were charging Rs 10 per two-wheeler.”
Meanwhile, DoC plans to expand market monitoring to health and education sectors within this year. “We will hire experts and make necessary studies to make monitoring of these sectors more effective,” added Bidari.