Soaring prices: Govt to import, supply pulses

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu
Soaring prices: Govt to import, supply pulses

Jun 7, 2015-

With the price of pulses on the rise, the government is preparing to import the product itself and supply to the market through its agencies.

With India banning the exports of pulses for last several years, Nepal, particularly Kathmandu, has been facing a shortage of the essential commodity, resulting in a price hike. Retailers, however, suspect cartelling by big wholesalers and suppliers.

Commerce Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyaya said the government’s move is aimed at providing relief to the people. “We have asked Nepal Food Corporation and Salt Trading to import pulses from abroad,” said Upadhy-aya, adding the government enterprises would sell the products from their outlets.

The prices have increased by up to Rs40 per kg over the last one and half months since the April 25 earthquake. Prices Rahar, maas, musuro and gram have surged in particular. Over the period, the retail price of rahar has increased to Rs180 per kg from Rs140. The price of maas jumped to Rs160 per kg from Rs130, musuro Rs160 from Rs130. Upadhyaya said the ministry has also asked the Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) to study reasons behind the price rise. “Based on the report, we will initiate quick action,” he said.

“We have been informed the southern neighbour has restricted the exports citing poor harvest there due to untimely rainfall,” said the DoCSM Director General Shambhu Koirala. He said the department last week forwarded a proposal on the government intervention to the ministry. In fact, India, the biggest producer of pluses as well as biggest importer, has imposed the ban since June 2006. Only kabuli chana, organic pulses and lentils are allowed to be exported with a ceiling of 10,000 tonnes.

Nawaraj Upadhyaya, spokesperson for the Nepal Food Corporation, said they have received the ministry’s informal instruction to start the procurement process. “We have started internal discussions on the matter,” he said.

The DoCSM said it has intensified market inspection focusing on price and availability of the pulses. “We have been reported there is a shortage of the essentials, besides escalating prices,” said Koirala, adding the department has summoned major traders of pulses to discuss on the matter.

Maggi noodles seized

KATHMANDU: The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) on Friday and Saturday seized a large quantity of Maggi instant noodles from the market. The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control since Thursday has imposed ban on the import and sales of the product, after finding excess amount of lead in the product. The department seized the product from All Day Home Store, Godavari; Bhuvan Raj Manandhar, Kalimati; KC Variety Stores, Kalimati; Yam Yam Khaddha Store, Swayambhu; Dhanalaxmi Shopping Centre, Swaya-mbhu and Annapurna Shopping, Sitapaila. (PR)

Published: 08-06-2015 07:36

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