Supply Policy to reflect federal setup

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 25, 2017-

The Supplies Ministry has started work to amend the Supply Policy to ensure effective supply management with the country adopting a federal system of government. The planned amendment to the policy will empower local governments to deal with the supply of essentials besides conducting market monitoring and penalising traders found involved in fraudulent activities. 

Currently, the government has been implementing supply management and market monitoring in accordance with the Supply Policy 2012. As per the policy, the government conducts supply management and market inspection through the Department of Supply Management in the Kathmandu Valley and through the District Administration Offices elsewhere in the country. 

The government’s market inspection has been largely focused on the Kathmandu Valley in recent times. Moreover, market monitoring has been limited to checking the expiry date of the products and their quality at retail stores.

Lack of effective market inspection elsewhere in the country has led to rampant sales of expired food items, black marketing and formation of cartels which have made life hard for consumers. 

Supply Secretary Anil Kumar Thakur said the ministry saw the need to amend the policy in the context of the changed state structure in the country under which seven provinces and 753 local governments have been set up. “At the micro level, the government has planned to delegate the authority to look after supply management to the local level,” Thakur said. 

According to him, the ministry will start providing orientation training to employees of local bodies next week. “We have aimed to begin training for the staff of local bodies in the Valley next Sunday. Subsequently, similar sessions will be conducted across the country,” Thakur said.

As per the ministry, the policy will address consumer rights, market intervention, market monitoring and storage of food and fuel and contain a provision requiring wholesalers and retailers to maintain stock of essential goods. 

Similarly, the government will introduce effective measures to prevent the formation of cartels and black marketing at the local level. The policy will also restructure and revise the working areas of Nepal Food Corporation, Salt Trading Corporation and National Trading, state-owned companies that deal in essential goods. 

Thakur said the ministry had also been working to increase the market monitoring budget for local bodies. At present, the ministry provides up to Rs100,000 annually to the concerned District Administration Office for market inspection. “We have been coordinating with the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance to increase the budget for market inspection besides changing the procedures for allocation of resources at the local level.”

Recently, the government endorsed a directive authorising municipalities and rural municipalities to shut down outlets found engaging in fraudulent activities and cheating consumers. The directive has also determined the standards that outlets have to maintain depending on the nature of their business.

Published: 25-12-2017 08:56

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