KATHMANDU, May 6: In yet another ‘unfair move’, sugar mills have raised the price of sugar, taking advantage of a ‘shortage’ in the local market.
According to traders, sugar mills have hiked the price by Rs 8 per kg. At the new price, sugar now costs Rs 86 per kg at factory price, an increase from Rs 76 per kg till last week.
There are 10 sugar mills operating in the country. On previous occasions, too, the sugar producers have been found to have raised sugar prices whenever there existed some disruption in the import of sugar. Due to the ongoing prohibitory order, the import of the sweetener has declined at present.
Due to pressure from the sugar mills, the government has increased the customs duty on sugar import to 40 percent from 15 percent earlier. When the import is smooth, sugar mills claim that they have sufficient production and they are unable to sell their products due to the imported goods.
“But when import drops, sugar mills say they are out of stock just to raise the price,” said Roshan Shrestha, a wholesaler at Gairidhara. “There is no reason that the sugar mills don’t have sufficient stocks at present as the crushing of the new harvest of the season has just been over,” he said.
Every year, sugar mills produce a new lot of sugar starting from November.