Kathmandu, September 20
The government is importing 20,000 tonnes of sugar through a few government-owned companies for the upcoming festive season. In order to meet the market demand for festive season the government is importing sugar via Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Food Management and Trade Company Ltd (FMTC).
As per the government’s decision, STC will import 10,000 tonnes of sugar while the remaining will be imported by the FMTC. Prior to this, the government had restricted the import of sugar to limit excessive supply of cheaper foreign sugar in the domestic market that had lowered the demand of comparatively costly Nepali sugar.
The sugar that will be imported for festive season will be brought from India and Pakistan. In the previous year, STC had imported 5,000 tonnes of sugar for the festive season. However, in order to ensure the easy availability of sugar this year, the quantity of import has been increased. During Dashain and Tihar, consumers tend to consume more number of sweets than in the normal times and it is especially during Tihar that the demand for sweets rises exponentially as sweets are also given as gifts to mark the occasion.
Every year, traders create artificial shortage of sugar in the market to increase the price. Hence, to stop traders from taking undue advantage of the rise in demand during festivals the government has decided to import and distribute sugar via government food companies, as stated by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies. The cabinet meeting held last week had decided to import sugar for the festive season.
Meanwhile, goat traders are aiming to import around 50,000 live goats to Kathmandu for this festive season. However, the price of goat meat is likely to go up this year. Since the government tightened the quarantine checking for livestock import the domestic market has been facing shortage of goat meat for the last few months. However, traders have ensured to meet the market demand for this festive season.
A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.