Simmering Tarai protests heat up food prices

Kathmandu, September 26

The price of daily essentials like rice, pulses and edible oil, among others, has soared due to short supply created by the prolonged protest in the Tarai region.

Prices of rice and beaten rice have increased by five rupees and Rs 10 per kg, respectively, compared to a month back, as per Nepal Retailers’ Association (NRA).

“Price of pulses and edible oil has also increased due to high demand as compared to the low-supply,” said Pavitra Bajracharya, president of NRA, adding, “Demand for daily essentials has also been picking up as consumers have started preparing for upcoming festive season.”

Price of edible oil has increased by five to 10 rupees a litre and price of lentils has soared by up to Rs 20 a kg, as per the recent market price list of NRA.

Bajracharya, however, blamed wholesalers for the dreary situation alleging they are trying to capitalise on Tarai protest. Due to the prolonged protest in Tarai, supply chain has been affected and traders are taking advantage of the dire situation, he said.

The government has said that the market price of essential commodities will not rise in the festive season because the country has enough stock of food and has even assured that market monitoring would be conducted properly to safeguard the consumers from black-marketing.

“There won’t be shortage of food items and we’ve asked the wholesalers about the stock position of the daily essentials,” said Shambhu Koirala, director general of Department of Commerce and Supply Management. “We have been mobilising effective market monitoring teams to control possible ill-practices in the market.”