Bullion dealers today took out a protest rally and pulled down their shutters against yesterday's market monitoring by the government.
They have asked the government to immediately stop market monitoring, which is against the law, according to them.
On a tip-off from consumers that some bullion traders were cheating consumers regarding gold measurement and quality, the Department of Commerce and Supply Management, and Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology had yesterday monitored some bullion shops in Kathmandu and seized their illegal weighing machines.
The departments along with the police had monitored three gold, silver and diamond shops at New Road, in Kathmandu, and discovered lower weight measurements and high damage (jarti) rates common in most of the gold shops.
The department had seized four weighing machines from Ganapati Jewellers — for using weighing machines prescribed for silver to weigh gold that makes some 0.08 gram less in 10 gram gold — and has sent them to the bureau for calibration.
Likewise, it had confiscated purchase and sales bills from Tejmin Jewellers for investigation and seized three weighing machines from RB Diamond as it had been using unlicensed weighing machines.
Consumer rights activists have, however, claimed the rally a mockery of law of the land. "The government must intensify the monitoring drive," said rights activist Prem Lal Maharjan. "No law justifies cheating of consumers," he said, adding that the government must continue with the drive and punish the guilty.
The Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers' Associations has, however, asked the government to include its representative during market monitoring, besides asking its traders to do responsible business."We support lawful trade and encourage our member traders to practise fair trade and maintain the ethics that the federation had passed during its annual meeting," the federation general secretary Manik Ratna Shakya requested, urging dealers and consumers not to be discouraged by the recent incident. But, he urged the government not to terrorise traders and monitor the market responsibly.