In order to promote healthy competition and protect consumers from being deceived through various malpractices in the market, the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) with the Bhutan Standard Bureau (BSB) on Thursday in Thimphu. This will also provide quality infrastructure services, such as testing, calibration, certification of products and services and monitor legal metrology.
Chief Program Officer, OCP, Jigme Dorji, said that although there were no complaints received on the matter as of date, the initiative is a proactive measure taken up by the parties in order to curb any future grievances and provide a fair market support by the relevant agencies.
He said that currently the weighing scales and measurements are non-standardized as many of the weighing tools are conventional, and even the ones which some shops are using are below the Indian Standard (IS) which is a standard requirement.
He added, “Even those using digital weighing (scale) may not show accurate results in some cases, and people might lose out on the quantity due to this. For instance, if someone is buying 1 kg of potatoes and the digital weigh shows as 1 kilo, it may not necessarily be 1 kilo. This was observed when we inspected the weighing.”
He said that the BSB will issue a validity of 1 year and the OCP will regularly monitor the standardized practices, however, the validity will vary accordingly with the type of products.
The press release from OCP stated that the NoU was signed “In consideration of the legal mandates of both the agencies, cross-sectoral matters, vulnerabilities of the consumers in the marketplaces, prevailing unethical trade practices and the need of market standardization”.
Under the NoU, the two parties have agreed to work collaboratively identifying the sectoral roles.