KATHMANDU, Sept 14: The government has announced plans to open fair price shops on the eve of festive season in various parts of the country from September 28.
According to Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, state-owned companies will run over three dozen fair price outlets across the country sell different food commodities, goats, salt and sugar, among others, who demand shots up during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals.
Issuing a statement on Thursday, the ministry said that three government entities -- Salt Trading Corporation (STC), Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) and Dairy Development Corporation -- will jointly operate fair price shops at seven different places in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. These shops will be set up at STC's offices in Kalimati, Koteshwar, Teku, Singhadurbar, Satungal, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Similarly, STC will also operate three mobile outlets in the Kathmandu Valley.
NFC will also offers attractive discounts on food commodities at its provincial offices.
According to the statement, commodities sold from these outlets will be cheaper than other groceries or shops. Among others, the outlets will provide discounts of Rs 5 for each kg on Mota rice, Rs 5 per kg on sugar, Rs 10 per kg Basmati rice, Rs 2 per kg on salt, Rs 50 per kg on ghee and Rs 10 per kg on paneer (cottage cheese). Similarly, NFC will offer Rs 10 per kg discount on goats for the Dashain festival.
These fair price shops will open till November 13.
The government has been operating such fair price shops every year to provide relief to general public during festive season and also ensure smooth availability of essential commodities.
Apart from operating fair price shops, the government also plans to intensify market monitoring activities to curb artificial price hike and black-marketing.
Nawaraj Dhakal, the spokesperson for the ministry, said that the government also plans to hold discussion with retailers, distributors, wholesalers and producers and request them to provide discount on essential commodities during the festive season. Dhakal added that such discussions will be held in the third week of September.
"If private sector agrees to provide discounts like government entities, we will inform general public accordingly through our promotional channels," Dhakal added.