Kelzang Wangchuk | Samdrupjongkhar

All service providers operating automobile workshops, salons, shoe repair shops, tailorings, electronic repairs, beauty parlours, car washes and tyre repair shops in Samdrupjongkhar will have to display the prices of their services from February 1.

This is to enhance free and fair competitive trade practices and also to standardise the market.

Trade officials said service providers should prepare the list of services and charges by January 10.

Regional trade and industry office’s (RTIO) senior trade officer, Tshering, said customers today have to ask for price of services they avail as the prices are not displayed.

“As per the Consumers Protection Act (CPA), consumers have right to know the prices of services they avail,” he said. Section 9 of the CPA states that the goods displayed for sale and whenever applicable, services shall have the price affixed conspicuously.”

Tshering said the economic interest of consumers are protected, fair trade practices are enhanced and huge discrepancy in the price of services are reduced when prices are made transparent.

Only a few automobile workshops, beauty parlours and tailorings have displayed their prices while some have price lists but are not displayed or not at a prominent place where the customers can easily see. “None of the barbers, cobblers and electronic repairs have displayed the prices. Consumers were also levied services charges inconsistently.”

Meanwhile, service providers said since the automobile workshops across the border have already affected the workshops in the thromde, it would become more competitive if they display the prices, adding that it would be also challenging to display the prices because the rates of the items keep fluctuating.

They said it would help if concerned agencies like RTIO could look into matters and submit to the ministry. “It is also important to maintain the business confidentiality,” an automobile workshop owner said.