BSTI plans use of weight sets with security logo
The council members of Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) will sit today to decide whether they would use new weight sets with security logo to address weight manipulation.
The available weight sets in the market have a hole at the bottom. Before marketing of the weight sets, BSTI inspectors check those and if they find faulty weight sets, they seal lead in the hole to maintain accuracy.
However, weight manipulators usually remove the lead from the hole and cheat consumers by giving them less in weight.
The new weight sets, suggested by a committee headed by a teacher of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), have no hole and do not require sealing of lead for accuracy, said Director General of BSTI Azmal Hossain.
However, BSTI officials said security logo on weight sets has little chance of preventing manipulation of weights.
As it is a simple mechanism of cast-iron, security logo alone cannot protect consumers' rights, sources said.
It needs strong monitoring and implementation of rules, they added.
At present, weight manipulators rampantly cheat consumers using inaccurate weight sets since the 29 inspectors of BSTI across the country can manage to check only a fraction of the available weight sets.
With the help of district and upazila administrations, BSTI conducted 1104 mobile drives in 2007-8 financial year and could check about 7000 weight sets across the country while the country's 16 licensed weight producers produce about 4 lakh weight sets annually.
Besides, some unauthorised producers also produce weight sets.
Experts said availability of faulty weight sets in the market damages consumers' rights domestically and it could affect export of Bangladeshi products as well.
In a survey at some kitchen markets and grocery shops in several areas in the city, The Daily Star found 1-kilogram weight sets of different sizes and shapes although only one size was supposed to be available.
A grocer at Pallabi admitted that he has three weight sets, but only one set gives accurate weight.
He hasn't seen any mobile court since his shop is far from the market, he added.
He said that such faulty weight sets are available at most of the hardware shops but costlier than the accurate ones.
A shopkeeper of a hardware shop at Karwan Bazar said that an accurate weight set costs Tk 120 but a faulty weight set costs about Tk 200.