June 26: The government has decided to make market monitoring effective in order to control the skyrocketing price and avoid shortage of daily essentials.
Speaking at a press conference following the cabinet meeting on Saturday, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Dilendra Prasad Badu pledged to control the spiraling price through effective market monitoring in coordination with federal, provincial and local governments.
The minister urged the business community to reduce the price of all consumable goods in the market and cooperate with the government in its bid to provide relief to the people.
The minister also warned that anyone found increasing market price of consumable goods arbitrarily would be punished. He also called for support from the media and consumers to this end.
Minister Badu further said that the government decided to lower the fuel prices in a bid to provide some respite to the people.
The prices in the market has been steadily rising in the last few years due to various reasons such as the Covid-19 pandemic, shortage of raw materials and food grains due to the Russia-Ukraine war and hike in fuel prices following the rise in prices in the international market.
Last week, the UN issued a warning of multiple famines this year urging the ministers meeting on food security to take practical steps to stabilize food markers and reduce commodity price volatility.
In the context of Nepal, the task seems to be an uphill battle due to the wrong policies taken by the government while the Department of Industry, Supply and Consumer Protection Department has only 40 employees for market monitoring.
Consumer rights activists have been complaining that the businessmen are fixing prices in the market arbitrarily due to ineffective market monitoring by the department.
The budget announced by the government for the upcoming fiscal year has provisions of charging higher tariff for raw materials than the finished goods prompting fears that it might encourage imports against the government’s own policy. The industrialists have been arguing that such irrational decision of the government will result in higher prices of goods produced in the country compared to the imported goods.