March 8: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supply Lekhraj Bhatta has warned of stern action against those trying to create artificial shortage of essential goods and petroleum products.
The ministry reassured the public that there is no shortage of food stuffs, cooking gas and medicines at present but the situation can go out of hand if the people start hoarding.
Therefore, the ministry has urged one and all not to go after rumors and start keeping excessive stock of food and other daily essentials.
Organising a press conference at the ministry on Friday, Minister Bhatta said that the government has adequate stock of food stuffs and other essential goods which can last up to months.
“The government has adequate amount of food and medicines. Therefore, we urge everyone not to get carried away by false news and rumors,” said the minister, adding, "The government is closely monitoring the market so as to ensure smooth supply of essentials amidst fears of coronavirus."
According to the minister, the public is gripped by psychological fear and the actual problem seems to have been blown out of proportion.
The ministry claimed that there is no shortage of petroleum products, salt, sugar, rice among other daily essentials.
Minister Bhatta said that the government-owned Food Management and Trade Company has a stock of 25,669 quintals of rice. According to him, the country has a stock of 68,354 kiloliters of petroleum products which can last for at least nine days.
The government said that the concerned authorities have been instructed to increase the production of cooking gas in Kathmandu Valley from 30,000 cylinders per day to 44,000 in order to ensure smooth supply of cooking gas.
Minister Bhatta added that the government has formed various plans to curb coronavirus in case of a possible outbreak.