The Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection (DoCSCP) has said that its stock of daily essential goods such as rice, pulses and sugar is enough for next three months. As the government has extended the prohibitory order in the Kathmandu valley, people are concerned about possible shortage of daily essentials.

Thus, DoCSCP has informed that there is no need to be worried about availability of food items and urged consumers from refraining from hoarding.

"We can comfortably supply essential commodities, including rice, pulses, salt, oil, ghee and sugar for about three months. So far no obstruction has been reported in supply and transportation of food items," said Prakash Poudel, director general of DoCSCP. "But if consumers resort to panic-buying it could lead to price gouging in the market."

He said that action will be taken against those who cause unnatural price hike of daily commodities. According to him, a monitoring team of the department is inspecting the market in three shifts - morning, afternoon and evening. Complaints such as unavailability of goods in the market, irregularities in distribution of goods and price hike have been addressed immediately, he added.

Recently, the department has also intensified its inspection regarding sales of masks, sanitisers and other essential food items. The department has also stated that masks, sanitizers and other sanitation items are easily available in the market at the moment.

The department has urged consumers to contact and file a complaint if they discover any irregularity in the market.

Although the government is claiming easy availability of goods in the market and intensified market monitoring, the price of daily necessities has gone up.

Consumer activist Prem Lal Maharjan said that unscrupulous traders always hike price of essential commodities by taking advantage of the pandemic.

Currently price of cooking oil, eggs, chicken, pulses has been hiked excessively, he said. The price of chicken egg has hit a record. The wholesale price of a crate of eggs reached Rs 370 today from Rs 360 a few days back.

While the price of eggs had been declining gradually until a few weeks ago, it has been raised again citing lower production.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 05, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.