Panel formed to look into vegetable syndicate

Kathmandu, August 21

After receiving numerous complaints from customers regarding the price of vegetables skyrocketing due to the prevalence of syndicate in the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market, the government has formed a committee to look into the issue and come up with a viable solution.

To address the aforementioned problem, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav formed a seven-member committee today.

Nabaraj Dhakal, the joint secretary and also spokesperson at Ministry for Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), has been appointed as the chair of the committee. Other members of the committee include joint secretaries of the Ministry of Agricultural and Livestock Development and Ministry of Home Affairs, Executive Director of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Committee Tejendra Prasad Poudel, a deputy inspector general of Nepal Police and two officer-level staff of MoICS.

“Minister Yadav has given the committee a deadline of five days to submit the report,” said Dhakal.

Earlier today, vegetable traders had halted trade at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market demanding immediate release of Bharat Khatiwada and Ujwal Dhungana, who had been arrested on Monday for creating disturbance and obstructing the vegetable market monitoring.

While Dhungana is a middleman between vegetable farmers and traders at the Kalimati market, Khatiwada is the general secretary of the Federation of Fruit and Vegetable Entrepreneurs Nepal (FEFVEN).

Protesting against the monitoring conducted by the government, vegetable traders had shut down all their outlets at the Kalimati vegetables market today. However, as per the latest development by today evening, they have decided to reopen the Kalimati market from Wednesday.

“If we find the traders fixing exorbitant prices for vegetables, we will take action against the guilty as per the new national code (Muluki Ain),” stated Dhakal. “The government is committed to end the nexus between vegetable traders and middlemen.”

According to Khum Prasad Ghimire, president of FEFVEN, the protest programme has been halted taking into consideration the problems that farmers could face if their vegetables are not sold.