The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) last week took action against four scrap dealers in Bhaktapur district for black marketing in corrugated zinc sheets.
DoCSM Director General Shambhu Koirala said Shiva Shankar Sah Kawadi Pasal and Pintu Kawadi Pasal in Jagati, Archana Scrap Centre in Katunje, Sallaghari and Shiva Shakti Suppliers in Suryabinayak were booked for selling new zinc roofing sheets and engaging in black marketing.
“As they are licensed to carry out trading in second-hand products, they are not permitted to sell new goods,” he added.
Considering the massive surge in demand for zinc roofing sheets due to the large-scale destruction caused by the earthquake, the government has directed manufacturers to sell their products only through assigned dealers in the disaster zones.
There are four zinc sheet manufacturers in Nepal, namely Hulas Steel, Rajesh Metal, Bhagawati Steel and Arati Steels. These companies have also agreed to sell their products in the earthquake affected areas at fixed prices.
Koirala said the scrap dealers were found selling bundles of Hulas and Arati zinc sheets which they had purchased from the company. “We are also planning to question company officials as we suspect that the manufacturers have been involved,” he said.
According to the DoCSM, it has asked Abadhes Kumar Gupta, proprietor of Shiva Shankar Sah Shop, and Lal Mohan Prasad, proprietor of Shiva Shakti Suppliers, to appear at the department with the proper paperwork.
“We have also written to the Nepal Police to take action against these shop owners under Black Marketing and Some Other Social Offenses and Punishment Act 1975 for selling zinc sheets in contravention of their licences,” said Ratnesh Shashi, monitoring officer at the department.
Likewise, Pintu Kawadi was found selling new Arati brand zinc sheets of 0.32 mm size at Rs6,100 per 50-kg bundle. According to the department, it has handed the proprietor Sunil Sah to the police.
The department has also caught Archana Scrap Centre selling Arati brand zinc sheets at Rs6,300 per bundle. The official price of the product is Rs5,927 per bundle. According to Shashi, the department handed the shop’s proprietor Tun Tun Chaudhary to the police for further action.