Nepal: Vegetable prices jump despite stable wholesale rates in Kathmandu Valley

Prices of fresh produce shot up right after prohibitory orders were issued in the Kathmandu Valley last week. At that time, the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection conducted market inspections on the highways; they caught several traders who failed to produce invoices for their inventory.

According to one trader, there are no representatives of the local administration and consumer rights activists in the rapid response team recently formed by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies. "So, unless they receive a complaint, they will not look into the matter as there are no other officials in the team except a joint secretary. The lone member of the rapid response team is busy in office work. The price of essential goods has been rising, but the rapid response team has not been able to bring it down or even control it," he said.

The Kalimati market had been receiving enough quantities of vegetables amid fears that transportation will not be eased like during last year’s lockdown. Wholesale and retail shops at the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market remain open till 10 am. "But as sellers and buyers are not able to visit the market due to the prohibitory order, the place sees few people," one consumer said. "Truckers and traders say they are having a hard time bringing vegetables to market. Traders complain that they face problems while returning home after 10 am.”

Traders said that retailers had been forced to jack up prices due to transportation difficulties and higher freight charges.



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