KATHMANDU, Aug 29: Giving respite to consumers who have been badly hit by inflation and overpricing, the government has announced subsidized rates for essentials including cooking gas, lentils, rice, ghee, oil, sugar, paneer and goats throughout the upcoming festive season.
A meeting chaired by Minister for Supplies Deepak Bohara on Sunday decided to announce subsidized rates for these essentials to consumers starting from September 17 to November 6 throughout government operated fair-price shops across the country.
As per the decision of the government, Rs 50 has been sliced for cooking gas as festive discount while Rs 5 per kg in 15 varieties of rice sold by Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), Rs 5 per kg in sugar and Rs 2 per kg in salt sold by Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Rs 10 per kg festive subsidy in ghee sold by Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) have been announced.
“The subsidy package has been announced in order to facilitate the consumers who have been slapped by overpricing and inflation during festive season,” Ananda Ram Regmi, spokesperson of the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) told Republica, adding, “Different public enterprises will sell products as per the subsidized rates from September 17. Except cooking gas, customers will get festive discount through different retail outlets of the state-owned public enterprises.”
The government has also announced to sell 2,500 goats in the capital in subsidized rate.
Meanwhile, the government has formed a committee under the coordination of spokesperson Regmi which will be responsible to open and monitor fair-price shops across the country in coordination with traders. The committee will also be responsible to monitor and implement the announced subsidy in the daily essentials.
“The government had opened such fair-price shops in 11 different places in the capital last year. Giving continuity to those 11 outlets, we will discuss on opening some more such outlets in Kathmandu and other major city areas,” said Regmi.
Consumer activists have welcomed the government decision of festive discount on essential goods. “It is a great move from the government. However, such subsidy has to be given throughout the year,” Madhav Timalsina, president of Consumers' Right Investigation Forum said.