The District Monitoring Committee, Jhapa, has intensified the market monitoring as the festival approaches. It has fined four shops and confiscated and destroyed food items worth Rs 22,000.
The committee, which has been monitoring the situation for the past 15 days, has already inspected 10 municipalities in the district. During the monitoring, four grocery shops in Arjundhara Municipality were fined Rs 5,000 for not keeping price list, using fake bills and selling goods at higher prices, said Tilochan Rimal, coordinator of the committee and assistant chief district officer.
He said that the daily necessities like edible oil, bhujia, biscuits, ghee and other items were confiscated and destroyed during the monitoring. A team comprising representatives of Home and Small Industries Office, Inland Revenue Office, Nepal Quality and Measurement Office, Food Technology and Quality Control Office is monitoring the market daily.
"The market has just reopened due to COVID-19. Some food items have expired after the shop was closed for a long time. But there is no significant difference in the price," he said.
Consumers have alleged that the committee is walking in the market only for formality without monitoring.
Himakumari Rai, a consumer of Mechinagar Municipality-10, complained that the monitoring committee did not do anything even though the prices of goods vary from shop to shop. According to him, sugar traders are selling at arbitrary prices of Rs 88 to Rs 100 per kg as compared to other commodities in the market.
Prajia Rimal, coordinator and assistant of the committee, said that the price of sugar in the market was not as different as consumers had alleged. He said that sugar was being sold at 88 to 90 per kg during market monitoring. He said, "We don't know if they say one price but take another price from the consumer. We will take action against the trader if such is found after monitoring the situation. ”