Kathmandu, April 18:

The panic in the Valley caused by the scarcity of foodstuffs on April 16 and 17 has abated. However, the price of vegetables in the local markets still remain high.

Panic among people and the rise in demand has resulted in shortage of foodstuffs in the market and caused their prices to go up, said Pabitra Bajracharya, general secretary of the Retail Business Association.

In the last two days, consumers were busy hoarding essential foodstuffs but now, even though no additional foodstuffs have been imported, normalcy has returned to the market.

But the market has seen the prices of daily commodities like sugar, salt, soyabean oil and refined wheat flour skyrocket.

To counter the situation in the capital, the Salt Trading Corporation Limited (STCL) opened 52 additional distribution depots in different parts of the city on April 17. Manoj Acharya, acting general manager of the STCL, said: “Though we had stock for five months, it could not be supplied to our dealers and 500 chain shops on time. Therefore, we have set up temporary depots in different localities to meet the demand. We witnessed the consumers rush to buy things only for two days and now normalcy has returned.”

The unavailability of vehicles for transportation, high transportation fares, and rise in price of some goods in wholesale markets are responsible for the price hike.

The Kalimati Fruit and Vegetables Market Development Board imported 430 metric tonnes of vegetables into the Valley on April 17. Only a few varieties of vegetables are yet to be imported from India and Terai region. But the prices of vegetables are still to return to their normal levels.

Vegetables- Local market price- Price at Kalimati

Onion -Rs 90 per kg -Rs 52 per kg

Tomato -Rs 35 per kg -Rs 27 per kg

Cauliflower -Rs 32 per kg -Rs 26 per kg

Green chilli -Rs 170 per kg -Rs 155 per kg

Foodstuffs -April 18 price -Usual price

Refined wheat flour -Rs 28 per kg -Rs 20 per kg

Soyabean oil -Rs 78 per litre -Rs 65 per litre

Sugar -Rs 80 per kg -Rs 40 per kg

Price of foodstuffs according to the Retail Business Association