May 20: The state-owned Salt Trading Corporation, which is responsible for buying and selling food and fertilizer at subsidized rate, has 21,000 quintals of flour in stock. Hetauda-based Nepal Food Industries Limited, a subsidiary of Salt Trading Corporation, has produced 75,000 quintals of flour in the current fiscal year. Of this, 54,000 quintals have been sold and 21,000 quintals are left, informed the Salt Trading Corporation.
The stock of Salt Trading Corporation will not last for even a day if it is sold as per the market demand. However, the spokesperson of Salt Trading Corporation, Kumar Rajbhandari said that the flour is being sold in retail just to keep the uncontrolled price hike in in the market in check. Traders, however, claim that there is no shortage of flour and other commodities in the market even though the government does not have enough stock.
Pabitra Bajracharya, the outgoing president of the Retail Trade Association, remarked that if the current situation continues for a long time, the prices of biscuits, noodles, pasta and other commodities are likely to be affected. According to him, there is no probability of immediate price hike as retailers and wholesalers have stocks of old goods that can last for up to 2/3 months.