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As substandard exotic goods flood Afghan markets MoCI blames absence of consumer rights law

AT-KABUL: An official in the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MoCI) blamed absence of consumer rights law for floods of low quality goods in the country.

Director of the Competition Promotion and Consumer Protection Directorate (CPCPD), Hafizullah Wali Rahimi, said that lack of a specific law to defend consumers’ rights is the main factor behind inflow low quality goods in local markets.

While talking to an awareness workshop on Wednesday, Rahimi said, “We have sent the draft of consumer rights law to the Ministry of Justice two years ago and the ministry has recently sent the draft to council of ministers for approval.”

He urged the council of ministers and Wolesi Jirga to approve the law soon. “Approval of the act will protect Afghan masses from consuming low quality products,” he said.

He said that according to the draft law consumers should be provided with information about the goods that they purchase and companies should provide high quality product and services at a reasonable price.

Rahimi termed hoarding and monopoly as illegal and big challenges before the directorate to protect consumers from price hike. “The CPCPD in coordination with other concerned organizations will spare no efforts to address the challenges,” he said.

He urged private sector to take consumer rights and protection of environment into consideration.

Musafer Quqandi, spokesman for the MoCI, said that approval of the consumer rights law will give the ministry right to control price and quality of goods in the market.

“Despite lack of a specific law, the MoCI in collaboration with other concerned organizations have established a commission to control quality of goods in the market. The commission has collected 50 tons of substandard and low quality goods including food items and medicines form the market in the past year,” he added.

Mohammad Sajad, a dweller of Kabul city, told Afghanistan Times that most of companies and traders by taking advantage form the irregularities import low quality and expired goods. He urged the incumbent government to take all necessary measures to control quality of imported goods, particularly edible items and medicines.

Lack of government’s control over the market has led to inflow of substandard goods and price hike of essential commodities.

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