‘Halt issuing licence to networking businesses’


The Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Welfare Committee of the Parliament today directed the government to halt issuing licences to multi-level marketing businesses, popularly known as networking businesses.

The committee also directed the government to submit the details of companies that have acquired licences to operate multi-level marketing businesses, details of their promoters, different directives issued by the government to allow operation of such businesses, details of networking businesses and their owners who had cheated customers in the past and other related documents within three days.

The recent decision of the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection Management (DoCSCPM) to issue multi-level marketing business licence to various firms has been criticised by different quarters, especially consumer rights activists citing that such firms had massively cheated customers in the past and those acquiring licences for networking businesses were among those who were involved in cheating customers in the past.

Of late, the department had issued multi-level marketing business licences to firms, including iboss Global International, Nature Herbs International, New Bibek Enterprises, Healthy Living Nepal, Care Matters International, Uturn International and Global Orients Nepal.

Consumer rights activist Madhav Timalsina said that those acquiring new licences were among those who had cheated customers in the past.

“The same old people have been found to be taking licences in the name of direct sales of commodities.

As we have a bitter experience of such networking businesses in the past, the government should be careful while issuing such licences.

Moreover, licences should be issued only after bringing in necessary policies to regulate such business,” he mentioned.

Different firms including Herbo International, Unity Life International, Crystal Vision International and Best World Business Link, among others were found cheating customers of billions of rupees in the name of networking business. Moreover, customers of these firms, including that of Unity Life, are yet to receive compensation from the government.

However, the department has been defending its decision to issue such licences citing that licences were issued under the Direct Sales Commodity Act.

Meanwhile, the House panel has also formed a subcommittee under the coordination of lawmaker Som Prasad Pandey to conduct a study on the networking business and recommend effective policies to regulate it.

The committee comprises lawmakers Krishna Kumar Shrestha, Amrita Agrahari, Prakash Rasaili and Sarita Giri as members. The committee has been given 15 days to carry out the study and submit its report.

The House panel today had summoned Commerce Secretary Baikuntha Aryal and DoCSCPM’s Director General Netra Prasad Subedi for discussions.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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