Locals traders in Surkhet have been misusing the subsidised rice provided by Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) for major festivals like Dashain and Tihar, according to locals.full story »
The traders are purchase the subsidised rice from the NFC’s fair price shop and sell it in the market price at a high price. The NFC Surkhet branch has been providing a rice sack of 30 kgs at a subsidised rate to the locals. The traders, however, have been taking an advantage as the NFC does not keep any records of the buyers.
On Monday, this scribe followed an auto-rickshaw that was ferrying the subsidised rice from the NFC depot. The vehicle loaded with several rice sacks stopped at a shop in Hatiyaline area. Around 50 sacks of the subsidised rice were kept at the shop’s store.
“Who wouldn’t take an advantage when one can earn Rs 1,000 to 2,000 by selling 100kg rice provided by the NFC? I have also started to keep in store a few sacks of subsidised rice after getting to know that other traders are into this,” said a shopkeeper in Khajura, Birendranagar.
The NFC sells Jira Masino at Rs 51 per kg and Sona Mansuli rice Rs 41. The market price for Jira Masino and Sona Mansuli is Rs 70 and Rs 50 respectively. Bhim Thapa, chief of NFC Surkhet branch, has admitted that traders misuse the provision of subsidised rice. “We cannot identify a person that repeatedly buys the subsidised rice from the depot. And we do not know if the buyers consume the subsidised rice themselves or sell it in the market,” Thapa said.
The NFC Surkhet has been providing subsidised rice to the locals by setting up a fair price shop from September 25 to November 13, keeping in view the two major Hindu festivals of Dashain and Tihar. According to Thapa, around 509 quintals of rice have been sold this year.
“One will be punished as per the law of the country if anyone is found guilty of misusing the subsidised rice,” said Thapa, adding that there are currently 19,000 quintals of rice in the NFC store. Chief District Officer Birendra Kumar Yadav asserted that the act of selling the subsidised rice at a high price in the market is black marketing.
“The administration will monitor such a misuse of subsidised rice and take action against the guilty,” he assured.