Cases filed against 26 stores, hospitals, schoolsThe Department of Supply Management began legal proceedings against 26 apparel stores, hospitals and schools on the charge of cheating customers during the first eight months of the fiscal year.
The Department of Supply Management began legal proceedings against 26 apparel stores, hospitals and schools on the charge of cheating customers during the first eight months of the fiscal year.
According to the department, it inspected 3,560 business outlets during the period. It said the most common infractions were operating without a licence, failing to maintain a billing system, selling date expired and substandard products and failing to maintain proper hygiene.
Kumar Prasad Dahal, director general of the department, said the market monitoring effort was directed at streamlining businesses with the aim of protecting the public against malpractices seen in the market. “However, due to lack of resources and coordination with the concerned authorities, we have been unable to fully achieve the goals.”
Among the 26 firms against whom action has been taken, 14 are apparel stores on Durbarmarg who have been accused of overcharging customers. Likewise, the department has handed over the cases of six hospitals to the Metropolitan Police Circle, Teku. They have been charged with collecting fees unlawfully. The six hospitals are Nepal Institute of Neurology and Allied Sciences in Bansbari, Grande International Hospital on Tokha Road, Ishan Children’s Nursing and Maternity Home in Basundhara, Vayodha Hospital in Balkhu, Norvic International Hospital and College and B&B Hospital in Lalitpur. As per department officials, the police have been delaying launching an investigation against them citing inadequate information. The department also investigated a number of schools and automobile traders on suspicion of inflating prices. It has forwarded the charge sheets against Rato Bangala School, Patan and Chandbagh School, Bansbari to the District Attorney Office for further action.
Rato Bangala School has been collecting Rs3.4 million annually under various headings on top of the regular tuition fees. The school collects an additional Rs2,810 and Rs3,000 respectively for its social fund and for curriculum support materials annually from each student.
Chandbagh School charges Rs25,000 from each student under the heading of development fee which amounts to Rs19.1 million annually. Apart from the regular tuition fees, the school collects an extra Rs4,875 per month from each student under the heading of monthly service charge.
Currently, the department has been preparing to file cases against GEMS School, Dhapakhel; Premier International School, Satdobato and Pathsala Nepal School, Baneshwor under similar charges.
According to the department, it has also been investigating 13 auto traders including GO Automobiles, Eastern Agency, Advance Automobiles, Laxmi Intercontinental, IME Motors, Continental Enterprises, Agni Incorporated and CG Motocorp.
Dahal said these vehicle sellers were found adding their overheads including advertisement costs, fabrication charges, administrative costs, insurance premiums, customs clearance fees, bank interest, warehouse charges and transport charges, among other expenses, to the prices they charge their customers. “Government laws prohibit enterprises from recovering their management costs from their customers,” he added.