Market monitoring ongoing during COVID-19 crisis
The Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection Committee, until some days ago, had received daily over 300 complaints about market irregularities during lockdown through its toll-free number 1137. But, lately, the number has significantly dropped. For the past few days, it has been receiving only 10-15 complaints each day.
Earlier, public complaints were largely about the shortage of essentials and supplies of food, cooking gas, and health materials on black-market and department employees would remain busy in addressing them. ''But these days, people are dialing up the toll-free number to inquire about the corona testing facilities. We are asked where the corona testing takes place,'' said department's information officer Rabindra Acharya. Complaints about market irregularities are infrequent, it is said.
However, the department has intensified market monitoring to control the possibility of market irregularities during the crisis. In the past, market monitoring used to be sped up only mainly during festival times. It has urged consumers to seek help from the department through its toll-free number in case of any issue in purchasing goods from the market. The department responds to the complaints only from the Kathmandu Valley and in regard to the grievances from outside the Valley; it informs the respective local levels.
It has launched an App since the evening of March 27 to address complaints. Till May 13, a total of 1,056 complaints were registered through the App. All complaints have been addressed.