Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Bhutan : Weighing machines in meat shops in Phuentsholing faulty

February 2: Next time you visit a meat shop in Phuentsholing, please be cautioned. The weighing apparatus can be faulty. In fact, most of the weighing apparatus have been found to be faulty.

Our Phuentsholing reporter Tenzin Wangda visited several meat shops after receiving complaints from customers.

To confirm their complaints, our reporter weighed a book using a weighing equipment in one of the shops. The reading showed 420 grams. The same book was weighed in several meat shops. Each shop revealed different readings.

The difference varied from five grams to 30 grams. The difference is minute even at 30 grams but if you are to buy a lot of meat, say 20-30 kilograms, it adds up. Many Bhutanese who come here to buy meat purchase huge quantities of meat, especially beef and pork.

Trade officials said they do go around checking the calibrations of the weighing machines in the shops at least once in a week. But they said so far they have not come across any manipulation. They said if this is in fact happening, the vendors could be changing the calibrations once the inspection is complete and the inspectors are gone.

Trade officials said they will look into the possibility of contacting the suppliers of the weighing machines. They said they could seal the weighing machines so that they cannot be manipulated.

Gas stations were also once criticized for similar kind of manipulation and to stop this malpractice, the oil pumps were sealed. This has worked and there is no complaint of manipulations now.

Meat vendors who are found to be manipulating the calibration of the weighing machines can be fined Nu. 2000. Repeated offence can result in the cancellation of the license.

At the moment one kilogram of boneless meat costs Nu. 120 while meat with bone costs Nu. 80. So next time you visit a meat shop to buy huge quantities of meat, make sure nobody pulls the wool over your eyes.


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