KATHMANDU, Sept 5: A task force formed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies to look into irregularities in Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market has suggested a raft of measures to bring about improvements in the largest agricultural market in the country.
In its report submitted to the ministry on Tuesday, the taskforce has identified 11 major problems in the Kalimati vegetables market. Unnatural hike in vegetable prices, lack of bill and receipts, illegal use of stalls by traders, and increasing involvement of middlemen were some of the problems raised in the report.
Other problems include lack of cold store facility to keep fruits, fish and vegetables fresh, inability of the farmers to take their produce to the market directly, lack of storage facility, lack of power management, lack of proper transportation facility, and tax compliance issue, among others.
The taskforce has given a seven-point suggestion to the agriculture ministry for ending malpractices at the Kalimati vegetables market. In order to control artificial hike in vegetable prices, the taskforce has asked the government to make it mandatory for traders to register for PAN and prepare issue bills and receipts. It has also asked the ministry to prepare criteria for determining vegetables prices and also introduce the system of by fruits and vegetables through auction.
Strict test of pesticide residue in fruits and vegetables, arrangement of cold storage facility and increasing market monitoring activities, among others, are the other suggestions given by the taskforce.
Meanwhile, the government has formed a five-member committee to suggest measures for dealing with cartel formed by vegetable traders and middlemen.
A meeting chaired by Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies held at the ministry on Tuesday formed the committee. The committee is led by Navaraj Dhakal, spokesperson for Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Supplies. Tej Bahadur Subedi, spokesperson for the agriculture ministry, Tejendra Prashad Poudel, executive director of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, Yogendra Gauchan, director general of supplies department, and a representative of Nepal Police are the members of the committee.