Sunsari thrives on black marketing

Itahari, September 30:

Black marketing has been flourishing in Sunsari ahead of Dashain with some businessmen found involving in hiking prices of food grains, petroleum products, Liquefied Petroleum Gas and cloth items on their own.

As the government officials are busy in rehabilitating Saptakoshi flood victims, some unscrupulous businessmen have gained high hand. Prices of sugar, petroleum products, ghee, cooking oil and clothes items have been hiked in Itahari, Dharan, Inaruwa, Duhabi, Khanar, Jhumka, Laukahi, Devangunj, Chimadi, Panmara, Barahachhetra, Mahendranagar, Madhuwan, Prakashpur, Bharaul, Baklauri and in the village areas of Sunsari.

Compare to the urban areas, black marketing is rife in village areas, according to the consumers. The price of sugar is Rs 34 per kg in bordering areas, while the price is Rs 40-42 in Dharan and Rs 48 in village areas. Some shopkeepers have been selling kerosene at Rs 90 per litre in Itahari, though the government dealers charge just Rs 66.25.

The consumers in the villages have been bearing the brunt of black marketing, as they are compelled to pay Rs 100 for a litre of kerosene.

However, black marketing of clothing items and cooking gas is not found in main markets such as Itahari, Dharan and Inaruwa. Rate of clothing items varies in the markets. The act of businessmen hiking the prices of foodstuff unilaterally is because the prices of goods are not noticeable to many consumers. “Majority of the consumers have been cheated mainly in clothing items,” lamented Susma Karki, a consumer in Itahari. Some consumers in Dharan echoed Karki. They said LPG gas is not available in market even consumers are ready to pay Rs 2,300 per cylinder against Rs 1,100.80, the NOC-fixed price.

Case of vegetables is not the exceptional. Prices vary from market to market due to black marketing. Adulteration and black marketing of cooking oil, soap, noodles, cakes and sweets have been affected is also going unchecked.

CDO Durga Bhandari conceded that the unscrupulous practice of black marketing and adulteration is ongoing in the markets with the government mechanism focusing on Saptakoshi flood-hit. Bhandari also urged all to help control such dishonest act.