Govt’s home delivery service off to a bumpy start

Kathmandu, March 28

Lack of proper planning and failure to disseminate basic information to the general public caused the government initiative offering home delivery service to fall flat.

As per the plan to supply daily essentials at the doorsteps of people residing in Kathmandu, the Food Management and Trade Company Ltd (FMTC), a subsidiary of Nepal Food Corporation and National Trading Ltd, under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, started taking orders for home delivery services through landline telephone from today.

However, with the public largely unaware about which number to dial, the company received just five orders today. Even those could not be delivered due to lack of delivery vans.

“The delivery process will be smooth from tomorrow,” promised Netra Prasad Subedi, chief executive officer of FMTC, adding that the company was taking orders at 01-4252301.

According to him, the company is also working on a four-digit contact number to take orders and more numbers will be added tomorrow.

Subedi further said that the company was also developing an online app for home delivery service of various food items and materials. “Our delivery service will be better managed after the app is developed,” he added.

Subedi said the technology being developed for ordering goods could be used through a mobile phone or any device supporting the application.

“Due to the nationwide lockdown, I feel it is the duty of a state-owned company such as ours to provide daily essentials to people at their doorsteps,” he said, adding that delivery would be timely and the goods would be provided at reasonable prices.

However, it will take a few more days for the application to be fully operational, he added.

Subedi further informed that they would prepare ‘combo pack’ for home delivery. The combo pack will contain five kilos of rice, vegetables, salt, pepper, and spices and the price would be specified. These combo packs will be kept in mobile stores.

“The price of the combo packs will be fixed and there will be no bargaining,” he informed.

Metropolitan Police Office has been assigned to make necessary security arrangements for smooth operation of mobile food stores in collecting orders from consumers and distributing essential goods.

The government had established FMTC to conduct business during situations like the one the country is facing at the moment as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the company has so far failed to play any role by way of market intervention other than transporting food to remote areas.

Now, the company plans to break the monopoly of a few traders over daily essential items in the market through the use of technology, according to Subedi.