Govt starts monitoring to prevent price hikes

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Govt starts monitoring to prevent price hikes

Sep 17, 2014-

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa on Wednesday said that the government had started strict monitoring of the market to stop artificial price hikes of essential household commodities amid complaints of rampant malpractice on the eve of the Dashain festival.

Thapa added that the country would not face shortages of essential goods as there were adequate stocks in the market.

Inaugurating the fair price shop at the premises of National Trading Limited, Ram Shah Path in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Thapa said that a survey carried out by the government had shown sufficient stocks of household commodities in the market including the state-owned suppliers Nepal Food Corporation, Salt Trading Corporation, National Trading and Dairy Development Corporation.

“The government aims to provide relief to the people by offering discounts on goods and intervening in the market to keep prices down through these fair price shops.”

He directed the state-owned suppliers to diversify their product portfolio for the benefit of consumers. “As textiles are the biggest trading items during Dashain, the government’s supply mechanism should also deal in them.” Meanwhile, Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of the Department of Commerce and Supplies, said that fair price shops would prevent consumers from being cheated by middlemen during the festive season. “With the market in the hands of private traders, they can arbitrarily hike prices by hoarding goods,” he said, adding that the government’s move was aimed at making its presence felt in the market.

He also urged consumers to stay informed about market prices and buy goods after comparing prices at the fair price shops. The shops will run for one and a half months in 71 places across the country.

Consumers are offered a Rs 2 discount on a kg of every variety of rice, Rs 5 on a kg on sugar and Rs 2 on a kg of salt. Likewise, ghee is cheaper by Rs 10 per litre at these shops.

Home appliances, machinery tools and spare parts from brands like Samsung, Bajaj, CG and Himstar are also on offer at discounts of 5-22 percent at National Trading. The shops sell essential commodities like pulses, floor, oil, green teas and spices at cheaper prices.

The fair price shops in the valley are located at Ram Shah Path, Teku, Koteshwor, Kalimati, Thapathali and Satungal in Kathmandu, Lagankhel in Lalitpur and Surya Binayak in Bhaktapur.

Published: 18-09-2014 09:40

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