Many traders found not issuing bills to shoppers, says government bodyThe Department took action against 170 unscrupulous traders during mid-July to mid-September period.
Trading in goods without issuing bills is rampant in the Kathmandu Valley at a time when people are on a shopping spree ahead of the festive season, the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest has found.
Officials say edibles, outfits and electronic goods are among the fastest selling products during the festivals. Citing large volume of transactions that they carry out in the festive period, in many cases both the wholesalers and retail outlets do not use invoices to charge their customers, they add.
The Department took action against 170 unscrupulous traders during mid-July to mid-September period.
“Most of them were grilled for not being able to show the transaction bills and failing to maintain the price lists of the products in their shops,” Yogendra Gauchan, director-general of the department told the Post.
Gauchan said most of the outlets involved in the misconduct were sellers of readymade garments.
“The department imposed cash fines of up to Rs50,000 against such outlets on the spots,” said Gauchan.
The Consumer Protection Act has authorised the government’s market monitoring team to impose immediate cash fines of up to Rs300,000, if the traders do not have a purchase bill available, they refuse to cooperate with officials during an inspection or tamper the measuring devices.
Last week, the department penalised four apparel outlets in Rajana Complex, a shopping mall in New Road, for selling outfits at exorbitant prices. The accused traders even manhandled the government officials deployed for market monitoring.
Gauchan said the unscrupulous traders do not issue the bills during festivals also to evade government taxes. “The traders try to dupe the authorities as during the festive time the volume of transactions surges,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Inland Revenue Department has also said that it has been receiving an increasing number of complaints against traders doing transactions without issuing bills. “A number of complaints are against the importers of vehicles spare parts and producers of flour,” said an official at the revenue department on the condition of anonymity.
The government in the budget for 2019-20 had scrapped the value added tax (VAT) return facilities being provided in a number of goods, which included vehicles parts and flour. The department of revenue source said a few complaints filed at the department were related to the use of counterfeit VAT bills.
Since March this year, the tax authorities have filed cases against 39 individuals on charges of evading taxes by selling goods through fake VAT bills. The accused were found to have misappropriated government taxes to the tune of more than Rs4.5 billion through the use of fake VAT bills.
“Citing a growing number of complaints, the department on Tuesday directed 20 tax offices in the valley to keep a close eye on the market transactions, particularly during the festivals. The department has also mobilised its market monitoring team to track any misconduct,” said the source.