KATHMANDU: Inflation has the country in its stranglehold and the average person is finding it difficult to cope with the hike in basic food prices. Keeping political issues aside, the country is suffering from an even more severe crisis which affects the day-to-day life of the common man. Sugar, Rs 54 per kg barely a month ago, is at between Rs 90 to Rs. 110 per kilo, though the new price that the government has fixed for sugar is Rs 64 per kg.

“We are discussing new consumer regulations and trying to stabilize prices by coming up with a viable solution. As far as sugar is concerned, we are trying to purchase it from private mills,” said Kamal Bahadur Thapa, Banijya Vibhag. The new consumer regulations are scheduled to be made public in approximately two weeks.

According to Thapa, it will take another month to ensure steady flow of sugar and stability in price.

“The government is trying to buy 50 per cent stock from private mills and distribute it while the remaining 50 per cent will be sold directly by the private mills. We are also trying to reduce VAT imposed on sugar import from 15 per cent to one per cent.

A committee has been set up to lobby for this issue,” added Thapa. The issue has already been put forth to the Ministry Of Finance. Banijya Vibhag is also trying to give Salt Trading Corporation the rights to distribute sugar for the time being and this decision will be reached through consensus by a committee coming Sunday.

The price of lentils is on the rise. Rahar dal, Rs 130 per kg 45 days ago, is selling at Rs 150 at the cheapest; black dal, earlier Rs 105 per kg, is selling at between Rs 140 to Rs 160 per kg. Moong dal also is at its all time high at Rs 155 per kg.