HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Department of Commerce and Supply Management has found irregularities in the pricing mechanism in Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market. There is a significant difference in the buying and selling price, the department’s press note read.
The difference between the buying and selling price is double, said director of the department Prem Prasad Paudel, adding that both farmers and consumers are not receiving any benefit from the market. “The market needs a complete overhaul in the supply process to promote free market,” he said. “It needs to cut the number of middlemen in between farmers and wholesalers.”
However, the department itself has been unsuccessful in controlling the irregularities. “We alone cannot change the supply chain,” he said, adding that over a dozen agencies involved in the process should work together to promote a competitive pricing system.
The department must receive support from the Ministry of Agriculture Development and its agencies. “A series of monitoring activities is needed to analyse the supply process and its impact in pricing,” said Paudel.
The department also checked the renting mechanism of the stalls in the
market but did not find any irregularities. According to the department, there are 350 stalls for wholesalers and 70 open stalls for farmers of Kathmandu valley. Similarly, nine per cent stalls are owned by farmers cooperatives. The stalls are allotted at Rs 24.40 sq ft to Rs 47.70 sq ft, but farmers who sell their vegetables in the open space are not charged.
However, the department did not find any registered stall or shop in the market. Of the five stalls inspected, only one was found to be registered in an agency specified by the law of the land. Similarly, almost all stalls lacked a price-list (wholesale) for public display.
Therefore, we have asked them to furnish their legal business documents within a week, he added.