Fair price shops to counter price cartels

- SUMAN BASHYAL, Kathmandu
Fair price shops to counter price cartels

Sep 12, 2014-

Fair price shops that are scheduled to open from September 17 in 71 places across the country, including eight in the Kathmandu valley, are expected to provide relief to the general people by offering essentials at discounted rates.

Four governments-run entities—Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), National Trading Limited (NTL), Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Dairy Development Corporation (DDC)—will counter any possible artificial price rise during the festive season through the shops.

The four organisations have said they will make available essentials, especially rice, pulses, ghee, oil, sugar and salt, at discounted rates for one and half months.

Salt Trading will offer a discount of Rs 5 per kg on sugar and Rs 2 per kg on salt. With this, customers will get sugar and salt at Rs 63 and Rs 13 per kg, respectively. “The fair price shops will play a key role in preventing a possible price hike by cartels,” said Saroj Nidhi Tiwari, department chief at STC. “And, there won’t be any shortage of sugar as we have 30,000 kg in our stock which will be enough for Dashain, Tihar and Chhath.”

DDC plans to slash the price of ghee by Rs 10 per litre to Rs 740 per litre. Giridhar Bajracharya, deputy general manager at DDC, said they have enough ghee for the festive season. “Due to the lack of proper plan, we could not meet the demand last year, but this year, we will ensure smooth supply of the product,” he said.

DDC has projected sales of 60,000 kg ghee, which is being manufactured at its Balaju and Birtanagar plants. Targeting the festivals, DDC is also importing 40,000 kg milk from Patna, India. Besides ghee, it will be selling yogurt, ice cream, paneer and milk from the fair price stores, but it has not offered discounts on these items.

Gita Niroula, sales chief at National Trading, said they would offer up to 70 percent discount on home appliances. Besides, it also plans to sell subsidised sugar and salt in coordination with STC.

Likewise, NFC plans to sell a wide variety of rice, wheat and pulses, offering a discount of Rs 2-5 per kg. It plans to sell 12,000 quintals of rice and wheat and 100 quintals of beans, buckwheat and naked barley through its fair price shops. Nawaraj Upadhyay, deputy general manager of NFC said it has been speeding up the procurement process.

NFC also expects to sell 3,400 he-goats during Dashain from its Thapathali office. According to Upadhyay, the animals will be brought from Rupandehi, Chitwan, Makwanpur and other districts.

In the valley, the fair price shops will be opened at Ram Shah Path, Teku, Koteshwor, Kalimati, Thapathali, Lagankhel, Surya Binayak and Satungal.

Published: 13-09-2014 09:36

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