Nepal | July 09, 2020

Grocery stores can operate during week-long shutdown, reiterates govt

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, March 24

Security agencies forced even essential service providers in some areas of the capital to down shutters on the first day of the week-long nationwide lockdown today, despite the government’s clear instruction to let such outlets remain open.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies reiterated today that outlets catering to essential services and goods were allowed to provide their services throughout the lockdown period.

The ministry had to reiterate the government’s decision to let grocery and other stores dealing in essential items open since grocery store owners complained that the police did not allow them to open their outlets today.

Pramila Kharel, a resident of Chabahil, complained, “Cooking gas in our house will sustain hardly for four-five days, but all the outlets are shut.”

In their defence, Nepal Police said groceries were discouraged to open for the welfare of the public to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“It is crucial that the public gets access to essential goods in such a situation. But the problem is that almost every shop in the valley caters to essential goods, including food items. This has resulted in confusion over which outlet should be allowed to open,” Sailesh Thapa Kshetri, information officer of Nepal Police, told THT.

Baikuntha Aryal, secretary at MoICS, said the ministry would soon issue a notice asking outlets of essential goods to operate and provide services. However, such outlets should discourage panic-buying among shoppers and ensure that people do not gather in large numbers at one time in their outlets, stated the ministry.

“The government has already mentioned that the lockdown decision will not affect supply and operation of industries delivering essential services. Outlets selling food items, vegetables and medicines are allowed to operate,” said Aryal.

According to him, industries related to production and distribution of essential goods and services, including food items, dairy products, drinking water, drugs, internet and petroleum products are allowed to continue their businesses during the lockdown period.

Aryal added that the government would provide services through the outlets of Salt Trading Corporation and other government enterprises across the country, if necessary. Stating that the country has enough stock of all essential goods and that groceries would be allowed to sell essential commodities, he urged consumers not to stockpile.

Officials at STC said they were ready to provide services through their outlets and were awaiting a direction from the government. Earlier, STC had issued a statement that the corporation had enough stock of salt, sugar, cooking gas and other essentials.

The government is also preparing to operate mobile van service in Kathmandu valley and other major cities to ensure the availability of necessary essential goods for the public, said MoICS officials.

A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Trump administration informs United Nations of US withdrawal from WHO

KATHMANDU: Trump administration that has been critical of the World Health Organisation (WHO) over its handling of coronavirus pandemic has formally withdrawn the United States from the UN health body, on Tuesday. The United Nations confirmed that the US would leave WHO on July 6, 2021, following Read More...

China, US trade tit-for-tat visa curbs over Tibet

BEIJING/WASHINGTON:  China said on Wednesday it will impose visa restrictions on US citizens who have engaged in what it called "egregious" behaviour over Tibet, in apparent retaliation against US restrictions on Chinese officials. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday the United Sta Read More...

West Indies must try to win inside four days: Lara

LONDON: Batting great Brian Lara has said West Indies' best chance of victory against England is to race out to an early lead and secure the win inside five days. All-rounder Jason Holder is part of the tourists' impressive bowling attack but questions remain about their batting ahead of the Read More...

Foreign students fret over being sent home after US visa rule

When the phone rang Tuesday morning, Raul Romero had barely slept. The 21-year-old Venezuelan, on a scholarship at Ohio’s Kenyon College, had spent hours pondering his options after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students taking classes fully online f Read More...

255 new cases of coronavirus infection recorded on Wednesday; nationwide tally reaches 16,423

KATHMANDU: Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed 255 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Wednesday, which has taken the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 16,423. In the last 24 hours, 253 people have been discharged from health facilities across the country after recovery from COVID-19 Read More...

Lampard says Pulisic has raised his game at Chelsea

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard believes Christian Pulisic has taken his game to another level after the forward scored in Tuesday's 3-2 Premier League victory at Crystal Palace. The 21-year-old, who became the most expensive American soccer player when he joined Chelsea in January 2019 for 64 Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 255 new cases, 253 recoveries, no deaths

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 266,457 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method and 312,402 Rapid Diagn Read More...

In Pictures: Rallying forth in Prime Minister's support

Supporters of Prime Minister KP Oli organised a rally at Lagankhel, Lalitpur, on Wednesday, for the seventh day. The pro-prime minister demonstrations were held in the wake of recent political developments wherein PM Oli is being asked to step down from his either of his posts. Read More...