Firms not displaying prices of products and services to be finedTraders or service providers found violating the rule may be fined Rs50,000 to Rs100,000.
The Province 3 government has passed a law that allows authorities to fine manufacturers and traders up to Rs100,000 for conducting business without displaying prices of products and services.
Under the Provincial Trade and Business Act passed by the Provincial Assembly, all manufacturers, retailers and service providers are required to display the factory price, retail and wholesale prices of goods and charges on service and keep business registration certificates in plain sight while trading products and services.
According to provincial Minister of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment Arun Nepal, any trader or service provider found violating the rule may be fined Rs50,000 to Rs100,000.
The government has also decided to impose a penalty of Rs200,000 to Rs300,000 on businesses involved in malpractices such as deceiving consumers with fake quality, volume, price, size and shape imprints of goods and services.
Businesses that create artificial shortages, refuse to issue bills and sell expired goods will also be fined Rs200,000 to Rs300,000.
“The act also incorporates provisions which bar firms operated by members of a joint family to be registered as a partnership firm,” said Minister Nepal. “Joint family transactions based on oral notes and promises will not be taken as a business partnership.”
The government has also decided to impose a pollution charge on factories and business that produce and trade goods which defile the environment. “Firms can be fined up to Rs200,000 for polluting the environment with toxicants, industrial waste, and hospital and harmful waste,” states the act.
The licences of private firms operating without renewing the registration for more than five years after expiration will be scrapped without notice. The government can shut down firms that do not abide by its request for information.
According to Nepal, the act also incorporates the formation of two monitoring committees—Province and District Market Monitoring Committee and Local Market Monitoring Committee—to conduct market inspection.
Traders have been involved in misconduct despite consumer rights protection laws and frequent inspections by authorities. Market monitoring has mostly been ineffective due to lack of adequate personnel, officials said.
There is only one market inspector for every 10,000 firms, and there are only five inspectors in the Kathmandu Valley which houses more than 50,000 retail and wholesale firms. The Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection Management was able to carry out compliance inspection of only 1,669 firms across the country in the last fiscal year.