HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Department of Commerce (DoC) is starting regular market monitoring from this week to control artificial price hike from hoarders and black marketeers.
“The department is revamping the regular market monitoring in Kathmandu Valley from Tuesday,” said Kamal Bahadur Thapa, Inspection Officer at the department that is introducing regular market monitoring from mid-February because price hike starts from the months. “Our experiences shows price of consumer goods starts upward movement from March,” he said. Usually, less price fluctuation is recorded between November and January and price of consumer goods steadily goes up from June to October in the country.
In July 2008-09, price hike of consumer goods– rice, pulses, wheat flour, edible oil and other– had raised to 14.7 per cent, highest price hike in a decade. Current, the inflation rate is 9.6 per cent according to the Nepal Rastra Bank’s statistics for the fifth month. “It is the preparation for speedy price hike period,” he said, explaining that the necessity of market monitoring from February.
“If the department starts market monitoring from today artificial price hike can be controlled,” he added.
Market monitoring of the department targets price-list, adulteration in food items and artificial price hike. However, the department has got less success in any of them. Despite two-year long campaign, 80 per cent of shops of the Kathmandu Valley still lack price-list that is mandatory under Consumer Protection Act.
The government has enlisted 29 items including rice, sugar, wheat flour, pulses, edible oils and ghee in essential consumer goods. The law fines Rs 30,000 in violating price-list provision while up to Rs 500,000 could be fined for adulteration.