Bottled water set to be cheaper by 10pc

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Feb 14, 2017-

Producers of bottled water are set to reduce the price of their products by 10 percent to maintain a uniform price in the domestic market. After a revision in price, a 20 litre jar of drinking water will cost Rs60, down from Rs70, while a pet bottle of drinking water will be available at Rs18, down from the current Rs20.

Subash Bhandari, president of the Nepal Bottled Water Industries Association, said the price of the bottled water would be revised with an aim to maintain a fixed rate. “We have targeted to minimise the margin in the wholesale rate and the retail price,” he said. 

According to Bhandari, most of the retail shops have been charging excessively raking in abnormal profit on the product. “The retail shops have been making a profit of more than 20 percent which is against the norm set by the law,” he said.

Black-marketing and Some other Social Offenses and Punishment Act 1975 stipulates that the traders cannot take profit more than 20 percent on the traded goods. “The new price lists will reduce the profit margin along with maintaining uniformity in the price,” said Bhandari, adding that they were waiting for a circular letter from the Ministry of Supplies to enforce the new price.  

A committee formed under the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) had suggested revising the price along with setting standard of bottled water. In the new standard which is already approved by the ministry, the department has differentiated the categories of bottled water. 

Purna Chandra Wasti, spokesperson for the department, said they have enforced the standard in line with the international practices to safeguard people from the exploitation in price and health hazard. 

According to him, the department has categorised the bottled water into natural spring water and processed drinking water, among others. Depending on the nature of the product, pH of 5-8.5 has to be maintained in the product. Likewise, the presence of coliform bacteria should be under 4 percent per 100 millilitre. 

Meanwhile, the onset of dry season has shot the demand for bottled water in Kathmandu Valley by 15 percent. Bhandari of the association said the demand could go up to 100,000 jars daily, from 60,000-70,000 jars, during the dry season. 

There could be a rise in selling of substandard products during dry season. According to the association, about a fourth of the bottled water is found without seal caps. Since last year, the DFTQC has made the use of seal caps mandatory for the bottled water. 

The Department of Supplies Management said it has formed a special task force to inspect and curb malpractices in the trading of bottled water. Laxman Shrestha, director of the department, said the task force would also monitor the market price of the products once the new price was enforced.

Published: 14-02-2017 09:47

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