KATHMANDU: In an interaction here today, consumer rights defenders blamed weak government for black marketing, carteling and price hike.
People do not feel there is a government to support them, they said.
Consumers are facing scarcity of food items on the eve of festivals, said Harendra
Bahadur Shrestha, president of Consumer Forum Nepal (NECOFO).
“Prices of sugar, lentils and edible oils are beyond the capacity of people,” he said adding the government intervention mechanism had failed to curb the unnatural price hike. Prices of these commodities have hiked by 60 per cent since May this year.
The government has mobilized its agencies — Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and National Trading Ltd (NTL) — to correct the market price of basic consumer goods like rice, sugar, lentils and edible oils. STC is selling sugar at Rs 53 per kg through its 265 dealers in Kathmandu valley since last month. NTL is also supplying sugar at the same price.
STC has launched a special festival
campaign for Dashain since Friday providing 100 quintals of sugar per day to association retail shops. “We have sufficient sugar stock
for Dashain, Tihar and Chhath,” said Saroj Nidhi Tiwari, Bagmati zonal chief. STC
and NLT are importing 50,000 MT sugar for the fiscal year 2009-10.
Likewise, STC and NFC are started selling lentils at subsidized rates for the festivals. Each has imported 5,000 MT of lentils from the Indian market. NTL is giving 10 per cent discount on home appliances like gas oven, fan and water pumps during festivals.
Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has sufficient fuel stock for Dashain, said Mukunda Dhungel, NOC spokesperson.
According to him, NOC’s stock of kerosene is sufficient for two months while its stock is sufficient for one month. The average consumption of kerosene is 4,000 KL per month.
NOC’s petrol stock will last only a week,
he added. “NOC has maintained a good
stock of LPG and there is nothing to worry about,” said Dhungel.
Nepal Police (NP) has made special security arrangements for Dashain. “NP has designed a special security plan for Dashain,” said Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Commissioner Milan Basnet.
He added that NP needs the support of
the people to implement the plan and sought suggestions for improving the security plan.