Govt to control price of selected fruits, vegetables until Chhath

Kathmandu, September 30

The government has said it will control the price of a few vegetables and fruits, which have higher consumption rate, until the end of festive season.

For the same, government is preparing to fix minimum retail price of some vegetables like potatoes, onions, garlic and ginger and fruits like apples and bananas, which can be kept in stock for a longer period, to prevent arbitrary price hike during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath, which is set to begin from Saturday.

“We are talking with vegetables and fruits traders and wholesalers to maintain the price fixed today until the end of Chhath,” Gokul Dhital, director general of the Department of Supply Management and Consumer Right Protection (DoSMCRP), said, adding the government will not allow price of such vegetables and fruits to go up until Chhath because their prices are unlikely to surge at the sources where they are collected from.

According to Dhital, the department will soon determine the minimum retail price of some selected vegetables and fruits and circulate the price list to traders and retailers.

“In trying to control the retail price, we will also not let wholesalers increase price of such vegetables and fruits this festive season,” added Dhital.

Dhital further informed that the department will monitor activities of traders, wholesale markets and retail markets throughout the festive season, even during holidays to ensure that customers do not have to face the brunt of arbitrary rise in price of vegetables, fruits and other food commodities.

Acknowledging that many traders, wholesalers and retailers have pledged not to increase the prices of food commodities ahead of the festivals, Dhital warned of strict legal action against those who fail to live up to their commitment.

The department has been focusing its inspections on vegetable and fruit markets, food commodities, meat markets and centres from where livestock trading is done.

Similarly, Bharat Khatiwada, president of Kalimati Vegetable Wholesalers’ Association, said that vegetable prices are random in the retail market and there exists a wide gap in wholesale and retail prices of vegetables.

“We are willing to support the government to control and create uniformity in vegetable prices in the retail market,” Khatiwada said.

According to the data of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, the retail price of onions and potatoes today stood at Rs 35 a kg and Rs 45 per kg, respectively. Similarly, garlic and ginger were available for Rs 295 a kg and Rs 85 per kg, respectively, in the retail market.

Likewise, apples and bananas were traded at Rs 125 per kg and Rs 75 a dozen in the retail market today.