The Himalayan Times, 14 Dec 2017
The price of consumable goods that had soared in the domestic market during elections has started falling after the successful completion of the polls in the country.
Among others, price of vegetables, lentils and different variety of rice that had sky-rocketed ahead of the elections in the past few months has started to decline gradually.
Consumer right activists cited that consumable goods became dearer earlier as traders had been increasing price of essential goods arbitrarily citing supply constraints during elections. “However, as elections have ended, traders no longer have any legitimate reason to hike the price of goods in the retail market, which is why essential goods are slowly becoming cheaper,” said Madhav Timalsina, president of Consumers’ Right Investigation Forum (CRIF).
Owing to the number of polls being held consecutively in the country for the past few months and government busy in holding the elections, traders had been arbitrarily increasing price of essential goods. Among others, price of different vegetables had surged dramatically during the election times.
Officials of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB) said that the price of vegetables has started falling following uninterrupted supply from India as well as vegetable farms within the country.
“The onset of the harvesting season of different vegetables and uninterrupted supply from Indian sources, especially after the completion of elections in Nepal, is bringing down the vegetable price in the domestic market,” said Tejendra Prasad Poudel, executive director of KFVMDB.
However, he informed that the price of onions is still high following the Indian government’s restrictions on onion export till December. Onions cost around Rs 115 per kilogram in the domestic retail market today.
Traders have also attributed the recent decline in price of consumable goods to effective supply and goods getting cheaper at the source itself. “The price of different varieties of lentils and rice has come down by almost 40 per cent in the domestic market today compared to their price a few months ago,” said Pabitra Man Bajracharya, president of Nepal Retailers Association (NRA).
As per NRA, price of split red gram (rahar) which was retailed at almost Rs 250 per kilogram a few months ago is available at Rs 140 per kilogram in the domestic market today. Similarly, price of split red lentil (musuro) and black gram (maas) has come down by Rs 50 per kilo each to Rs 140 and Rs 170 per kilogram, respectively. Likewise, price of jeera masino rice has come down by five rupees per kilo over the last few months to Rs 70 per kilogram, according to NRA.
Over the last one month, price of vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, cabbages, cauliflowers and eggplants, among others, has also slumped by as much as 47 per cent. While price of cabbages and cauliflowers has dropped by 47 per cent each to Rs 45 per kilogram each over the last one month, price of tomatoes and potatoes has come down by 26 per cent and 12 per cent each to Rs 85 per kilogram and Rs 48 per kilogram, respectively. Similarly, the retail price of eggplant has come down by 40 per cent over the last one month to Rs 45 per kilogram.