People can now not only bargain for prices of commodities but can also fight for the accurately calibrated measurement. This piece of empowered element is made possible by the National Metrology Laboratory of the Bhutan Standards Bureau (BSB).
The metrology lab is equipped with all the materials to maintain the national standard for measurement units traceable to international standards.
Through this laboratory, BSB will collect all the weights, measurements, bars and calibrate them with standard equipments.
The International standard equipments were funded by United Nations Industrial Development organization (UNID). They were mainly brought from Germany, India and United Kingdom.
For verifications equipments are sent to verify in National Physical Laboratory in India. Laboratories worldwide maintain one standard and it is verified in The International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France known as Bureau International des Pords et Mesues (BIPM).
“To have reliable and accurate weights and measurement system in industry and for commercial purposes maintaining high standard for weights and measures is vital,” said the Head of the Laboratory Service Division Tashi Wangchuk.
To start off with the calibration, BSB would start from jewelry shop, meat shop and the cloth shops. And it plans to calibrate in other regions as well.
So far there were around four balances and four weights in the lab to be calibrated after the announcement in the media, last week.
Instead of pointing the particular error, the range of error would be marked after calibration in the laboratory. However the equipments should meet the certain standard error.
“As of now they are all meeting the requirement but still they have not received all the weights and measures from all the industries and shops,” he added.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) will issue a certificate to those who verify their balances with them and even investigate each shop and check whether it’s verified or not.
“Since BSB doesn’t have the specific Weights and Measures Act, we don’t have authority to penalize the shopkeepers, who fails to verify it,” he said.
However he said MoEA has authority to penalize or cancel their license as they are the one who issue licenses.
But BSB is optimistic that shopkeepers would come forward to calibrate their weights and measures.
He said that 30 September is the deadline for verification of the measurement of the equipments, and they are also working on how to go about with those who fail to verify.
The BSB team views unawareness of consumer and the ignorance of the seller as the main challenge to implement it. They said it’s the duty of the seller to check whether it’s accurate and as a consumer to get the right and accurate amount.
After verification BSB will paste their label showing on which date they have verified and valid till which date.
They said with the increase in price of the commodity, one should fight for right amount and fair measurement. Therefore the main objective is to have fair trade and protect consumers.
Consumers should play a vital role in verification of the weights and measures. If there is pressure from consumers regarding the authenticity of the equipments then sellers will take an initiative to verify it.
For further awareness BSB is tuning with broadcast media and looking for a donor agency for a publication in media.
In the near future Pressure and temperature would also be calibrated. These are very important while diagnosing the diseases and also for other services.
As per the Bhutan Standard Act 2010, BSB had established a National Metrology Laboratory to maintain standard international measurement for free and fair trade for both consumer and business entrepreneurs, particularly in weights and measures.
Head of the Laboratory Service Division Tashi Wangchuk said it’s a fundamental right for our consumer when it comes to measurement.