PAC okays report on market anomalies
Kathmandu, November 20
In a bid to curb anomalies, especially in the price of sugar, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature-Parliament a few weeks before Dashain had formed a committee to probe the rising sugar price and come up with suggestions to ensure irregularity-free pre-festive market.
Interestingly, the House panel held a meeting to discuss on the findings and suggestions of the report today, after the end of the festive season, and approved it.
Approval of this report today, based on which the PAC was supposed to intervene in the market to curb anomalies, shows the lack of seriousness of the House panel itself towards curbing malpractices in the market.
Speaking at the PAC meeting today, lawmaker Minendra Rijal said that approval of the probe report today is meaningless as the probe study was primarily intended to address market irregularities during the festive season. “Now, the findings of the report should be used to curb anti-market activities during normal times,” he said.
Similarly, Rijal also stressed on the need to discuss issues highlighted by the report with high-level bureaucrats at the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and adopt long-term measures to discourage anti-consumer activities in the domestic market.
However, the committee's Chairman Bharat Kumar Shah, defended the move saying that though the approval of the report was delayed, the committee's earlier direction to the government to limit the price of sugar below Rs 63 per kg helped to control its price from ballooning further. “Had the committee not given the decision, there were designs to take sugar price up to Rs 100 per kg,” said Shah.
Based on the suggestions of the report, the committee meeting today directed the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to hold further probe into the arbitrary rise in sugar price promoted by sugar mills and traders. Similarly, the committee also directed the government to intensify its inspection to curb ongoing malpractices in quality and price of goods.