Prices jump following budget announcement

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jun 10, 2016-

The budget statement for the next fiscal year has been greeted with a surge in prices of essential goods in the bazaars of the Kathmandu Valley. Analysts have attributed the price rise to black marketeering despite adequate supplies and smooth distribution.

In the last one month, prices of sugar, pulses and rice have seen the sharpest rise. Sugar has jumped to Rs75-80 per kg from Rs65 previously. Likewise, prices of pulses like maas (black gram), musuro (red lentil), rahar (red gram) and gram have shot up by up to Rs50 per kg.  

Retailers and wholesalers have blamed the price hike on importers who have created artificial shortages. Binod Chaulagain, proprietor of Manisha Khadyanna Store in Kadaghari, said importers of daily essentials had increased prices following the publication of the budget. “There is no shortage, but traders have been engaging in hoarding and jacking up prices,” he said. 

However, consumers said weak market monitoring and lack of action against wrongdoers was responsible for the price hike. Sudha Koirala, a housewife from Balkot, accused sellers of increasing prices arbitrarily. “Prices of daily essentials like pulses, rice, sugar, edible oil, biscuits and others have gone up,” she said.

“The authorities have not given proper attention to addressing consumer concerns,” said Shruti Adhikari of Maharajgunj, “The announcement of the budget is no reason for increasing prices, especially of essential commodities.”

“Black marketeers have become bolder these days as the government has remained silent on protecting consumer rights,” said Baburan Humagain, general secretary of the Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights, “Consumers are being duped everyday in the absence of transparency and effective price monitoring.”

According to Humagain, a recent market observation shows that the practice of arbitrary pricing has spread all over, and the concerned authorities have not fulfilled their basic responsibility of dealing with consumer concerns.

prices compared

Commodity    Price (a month ago)    Price (on Thursday)

Sugar    Rs70    Rs80 

Maas    Rs200    Rs250 

Musuro    Rs130    Rs160 

Jeera Rice    Rs70    Rs75 

Gram    Rs110    Rs140

Published: 10-06-2016 08:19

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