No Scarcity Of Essential Items: Supply Ministry

This undated image shows the building of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies in Singha Durbar, Kathmandu. Photo courtesy: Raju Maharjan

Kathmandu, Oct. 20: The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies said that there would be no scarcity of essential products during the festival period citing that the stock of essential goods was enough for the festival season.

According to Urmila K.C, assistant spokesperson at the Ministry, the present stock of foods including rice, sugar, beans and oil, among other is sufficient until the festival while the concerned public enterprises are also focusing to increase the further stock of foods.

She said that the Ministry had directed the public enterprises like Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC), Salt Trading Corporation (STC), Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to increase the stock of essential goods.
“There will be no shortage of any essential products during the festival because concerned public enterprises have enough stock of foods in their depots and store,” K.C told The Rising Nepal.

She said that around 116,000 tonnes of rice was in the stock across the country. Out of which, FMTC has 14,000 tonnes while the traders have 102,000 tonnes rice in their stock.
She said that around 5,700 tonnes of food is being imported on daily basis at present.
“There is enough stock of pulses with the private sector. Besides, around 700 tonnes of pulses are being imported daily at present,” she said.

She said that there was no problem in the supply of sugar as the private sector is supplying sugar in the market smoothly.

The STC is also selling sugar to the individual through the fair price shops, she said, adding that around 20,000 kg sugar being imported by STC will come soon.

The present stock of salt will meet the demand of the next nine months as the STC has 145,000 tonnes salt in stock, she said.

In case of petroleum products, the Ministry has directed the Nepal Oil Corporation to increase the stock of fuel including cooking gas to address the high demand of fuel and cooking gas in the festival period.
There will not any problem of supply across the country, she said, and however, there was a challenge is to distribute the available goods to the consumers across the country due to the COVID-19.

She said that the Ministry held a discussion with the wholesalers and retailers and directed them to supply goods to the market smoothly by taking nominal profit.

She said that the Ministry and the Department of Supply and Protection of Consumer Interest and other institutions were monitoring market effectively to control the artificial price hikes of good creating artificial shortage in the Dashain festival as the demand of goods is high in the festival.
Divisional Chief of FMTC Shrimani Raj Khanal said that the FMCT was supplying foods in the food deficit district to meet consumer’s needs during the festival.

Currently, around 15,000 quintals of rice was in stock of 23 food-deficit districts, he said, adding that the company was in ready position to supply extra foods to the food deficit districts.
The FMTC and the STC are selling foods through the fair price shops and depots at a discounted rate, he said. NOC spokesperson Binitmani Upadhyay said about 70 per cent of the total holding capacity of petroleum product is in the stock of NOC’s depot

The NOC has 46,500 KL petroleum products in stock at present, he said, adding that there would not be problem in the supply of fuel across the country.

The demand of fuel could not increase this year Dashain compared to last year due to the reduction in the movement of people. Normally, fuel consumption used to increase by 10-15 per cent in Dashain.

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