KATHMANDU, Sept 9: The government is opening a fair price outlet in Kathmandu on Monday.
According to Sharmila Neupane Subedi, the spokesperson for Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC), the first integrated fair price shop will open at Ram Shah Path from Monday. "Similar shops will be opened across the country after few days," she added.
The FMTC was formed after merger of two state-owned entities – National Trading Limited (NTL) and Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) – in August.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies in coordination with public enterprises, Salt Trading Ltd, Food Management and Trading Company and Dairy Development Corporation is operating fair price shops across the country ahead of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festival.
Yogendra Gauchan, director general of the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection, said that the preparation to open integrated fair price shops across the country is at its last leg.
According to officials, private firms can also distribute their products at discounted rates at such shops.
“We are giving discount of Rs 10 per kg on basmati rice, beans, buckwheat and meat,” Subedi said. “Similarly, Salt Trading Ltd is offering discount of Rs 5 per kg in products that will be made available in the fair price shops. We will formally announce discounts and offers during the inauguration ceremony on Monday," she added.
The integrated fair price shops will have products like varieties of rice, beans, buckwheat, salt, sugar and dairy products, among others. Such shops will be opened at 23 locations across the country.
“As the fair price shops will set selling price of most of the consumables, we hope it will control the trend of overpricing commodities during festive season," Subedi told Republica.
Meanwhile, the government is also intensifying market monitoring activities during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals. "We have deployed three teams for market monitoring activities in Kathmandu Valley currently," Gauchan said, adding: "At least seven such teams will be deployed during the major festivals."
According to the department, the ministry has deputed 30 additional officers at the monitoring section for three months as market activities tend to increase ahead of festive seasons of Dashain, Tihar and Chhath.
Meanwhile, consumers say that market monitoring activities of the government are insufficient as cases of Consumer Rights Protection Act are on the rise.
The department currently has 15 staffers for monitoring purpose.