August 6: The price of green vegetables in Kathmandu has skyrocketed since the last three weeks. According to the daily price list of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Development Board (KFVDB), the price of vegetables in the last three weeks has increased by 250 percent.
Middlemen have taken advantage of ineffective monitoring by the government and increased the price on the pretext of rainy season.
The price of small tomatoes, which was being sold at Rs 12 per kg on July 16, has now increased by 250 percent to Rs 42. Beans are now priced at Rs 115, which is an increase of 203 percent from Rs 38.
Likewise, the price of potato has increased by 31 percent from Rs 51 to Rs 68 per kg. The price of bitter gourd is Rs 45, which is an increase of 80 percent from Rs 25.
Madhav Timilsina, president of Consumer Rights Investigation Forum views that the price of vegetables has increased due to the inability of the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection Management (DoCSM) to effectively monitor the market.
He said that the superficial monitoring would not stop the price hike. Timilsina added that all three levels of government should coordinate and take steps to reduce the unnecessary price hike by reducing the influence of middlemen.
Consumers are forced to buy vegetables at double rate at retail stores compared to the wholesale rate at Kalimati. Consumers complain that despite the huge difference in wholesale and retail price, the authorized body has not done effective monitoring.
The DoCSM claims to have been constantly monitoring the market. Director General of the department Netra Prasad Subedi said that they are monitoring the market and if the traders are found to have increased the price arbitrarily, then action will be taken against them.
The KFVDB has not put the retail price in its daily price list which has allowed the retailers to set price arbitrarily.