January 17: The prices of essential food have increased due to the increase in price of raw materials. The prices of rice and edible oil have gone up due to the increase in price of raw materials as well as transportation cost.
Industrialist Suresh Rungata says that the farmers’ protest in India has also affected the price of paddy in Nepal. He added that the price of rice has increased by Rs 4 per kilogram within the last one month.
Rice produced in most of the factories of Nepal are basically from paddy imported from India. Nepali importers say that the price of paddy imported from India has gone up by Rs 200 per quintal.
Earlier, Nepali importers used to import paddy at subsidized rate but now the price has increased, says Rungata.
Industrialists say that paddy which used to cost Rs 1800 until some time ago now costs Rs 2000 in Raxaul, India. The subsidized rate of rice in India is Rs 1850.
Similarly, the price of edible oil has also increased. The prices of soybean and sunflower oil have increased by Rs 50 per litre.
According to industrialist Rungata, soybean oil that used to cost Rs 1,400 for 10 litres now costs Rs 1,900.
Likewise, the price of mustard oil has increased by Rs 20 per litre. The price fixed for the consumers is 20 percent more than the factory price.
Most of the oil processing factories import raw materials and then refine the oil in Nepal. Unporcessed soybean which used to cost US$ 700 per metric ton now costs US$ 1,100.
“The prices of raw materials have increased during the pandemic. Shipping companies have also taken advantage by charging extra amount. Therefore, the prices of food have gone up,” said Rungata.