September 29: Government has assured that there won’t be any shortage of daily essentials during the upcoming festivals like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath this year. According to the government, food items like pulses, rice, sugar, nuts, cooking oil and LPG (cooking gas) are easily available as there is no interruption in the supply system of the market at the moment.
Government authorities made such claims at an interaction on Market Monitoring and Role of Stakeholders organised by the Department of Commerce, Supply and Consumer Protection and Nepal Oil Corporation in Kathmandu on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Dinesh Pandey requested consumers to be aware as consumption increases during the festive season and some people may seize the opportunity to spread rumors of shortage of various food items, LPG and petroleum products in the market.
He claimed that there was no shortage of any consumer goods in the market as there was no problem in the supply chain. He also urged all consumers not to believe in the rumor that there is a shortage of sugar in the market.
Based on the data of the Department of Customs, he said that the annual demand for sugar in Nepal is 250,000 metric tons. According to the department, 212,000 metric tons of sugar was imported in Nepal last year while domestic sugar industries produced 170,000 metric tons of sugar. Thus, a total of 357,000 metric tons of sugar is available in the market, claimed Secretary Pandey. Therefore, he believes that there can be no shortage of sugar this year. He said that the government is committed to prevent shortage of any commodity in the market.
Government officials claimed that there is also enough LPG for cooking and petroleum products along with the food supplies. Shiva Prasad Ghimire, former president of the LP Gas Industries Association, said that there is less possibility of shortage of gas as large hotels, restaurants and party palaces, which consume large quantity of gas, are not operating properly due to the impact of the pandemic. According to him, the consumption of gas in the market has decreased by about 37 percent as compared to the normal situation.
Similarly, Director of Nepal Oil Corporation, Birendra Goit also said that there is no possibility of shortage as the NOC has 79 percent stock of its total capacity.
The government has started monitoring the market to regulate the market during the festival. All stakeholders stressed on the need for the government, private sector, human rights activists and all concerned bodies to make the market healthy and competitive and ensure consumer rights.