Fair price outlets asked to maintain quality

Kathmandu, September 29

The Parliamentary Committee on Commerce, Industries and Consumer Welfare Relation has directed all fair price outlets operated by the government to maintain quality in products and services being delivered to customers.

The direction came following evidences of such fair price outlets selling sub-standard fruits. An independent monitoring team of House panel led by lawmaker Subash Chandra Shah had carried out a surprise inspection at different fair price outlets operated by government enterprises targeting upcoming festive season. The team found a few outlets selling sub-standard fruits.

Four government enterprises — Salt Trading Corporation (STC), Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), National Trading Ltd (NTL) and Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) — have been operating such outlets in more than a dozen places in Kathmandu Valley, including in Teku, Thapathali and Ram Shah Path. These enterprises have been selling products ranging from rice, ghee, oil, sugar, salt and machinery items, among others, at subsidised rates to customers.

While customers are given a discount of five rupees per kg on different varieties of rice at such outlets, they also get a discount of two rupees per kg on salt. Similarly, the outlets are also selling sugar at a discount of five rupees per kg. DDC too has been giving a discount of Rs 10 per kg on ghee at such outlets.

“Such government outlets should maintain quality in their service and products and set a standard in the market so other private traders will be compelled to adopt similar quality in their services and products,” Shah said.

Meanwhile, the House committee has also urged operators of fair price shops to ensure customers don’t misuse the subsidy by approaching twice to take subsidy benefit on different products. “Subsidy facility should reach a large number of people instead of one consumer enjoying it twice or thrice,” Shah added.

The committee also directed all four public enterprises to provide service to customers by setting up such outlets on premises of NFC in Thapathali soon.