Bishal Bazaar traders told to submit billsThe Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) has asked the shopkeepers at Bishal Bazaar accused of overcharging to come with paperwork
Checks conducted by the department on September 16 and 21 revealed that the goods at six shops were massively overpriced. During the inspection, the government team had found the shops charging customers up to 10 times the cost price. The traders there had obstructed the inspection team by pulling down their shutters after it had checked out a few stores.
“We have sent official letters asking them to provide clarification,” said Heramba Raj Pokharel, monitoring officer at the department. “We will call the police if they neglect the notice of the department,” he added.
During the first inspection, the department checked Ankit Stores and B Ohm Stores on the ground floor of Bishal Bazaar following which the traders even surrounded the department officials. According to an official, they could have been severely beaten up by the store owners if the police had not arrived promptly.
During the second inspection, the traders obstructed the inspection process by shutting down their shops immediately after the department checked four stores, namely RSA Trisa, Intershop, Readymade Store and Oakland. The shopkeepers have been saying that the cost prices mentioned by the authorities were under-invoiced and not the actual prices, which resulted in the great difference between the cost and selling prices. Importers usually under-price goods at the customs office to evade taxes.
“We have asked them to reveal their suppliers and the prices they paid for their stock,” said a DoCSM official. “Our intention is not to give the shopkeepers a hard time. We also want to nab those suppliers who have under-invoiced imports causing huge revenue losses to the government.”
During the investigation, Ankit Stores was found to have purchased goods from Anish Traders while and B Ohm Stores was found selling goods purchased from Subhasait International Business. DoCSM officials said they were planning to
scrutinize these suppliers too and would forward the case to the Department of Revenue Investigation if they were found to have engaged in under-invoicing.
Apart from the retailers at Bishal Bazaar, the department said it would step up checking of apparel stores at other big shopping malls too.
On Tuesday, the department checked Shiva Shakti Fabrics, Naxal; Bhat Bhateni Supermarket, Anamnagar and Bling Exclusive Store, Kumaripati and found they had been overcharging customers. “We have also asked them to provide a clarification within three days,” said the official.
Similarly, on Wednesday, the department asked Pranab Collection, a clothing store at Shantinagar for clarification. These shops have been accused
of charging prices much higher than the cost price.
Meanwhile, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) has also increased its market inspection aggressively. On Wednesday, the department sealed Swastik Dairy Udyog, Ghattekulo and AB Beverage, Lalitpur after they were caught selling substandard products.
“We have barred production at
these factories for not complying
with the basic standards set by the department besides hygiene violations,” said DFTQC Spokesperson Pramod Koirala, adding that they
were preparing to file cases against these factories at the District Administration Office.
Last month, the DFTQC filed four cases against food sellers and it is preparing to file another four cases against wrongdoers. Koirala said another five cases were under investigation. According to him, most of them are related to dairy products.