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Lack of bill issuance practice impedes market monitoring in Nepal

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KATHMANDU: The market monitoring of the government could not become effective in controlling the soaring price hike of vegetables and meat items. The absence of practice of issuing bills and receipts after every purchase has made the matter worst for monitoring teams, official said.
“Our monitoring campaign has partially failed to curb the soaring prices of vegetables and meat items as the practice of issuing bills and receipts by traders following every purchase of sale,” said Yogendra Gauchan, director general of the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumer Interest (DoSMPCI).
Many middlemen have been involved in vegetables business but nobody provide sale receipts to, he said, adding, “We could not find out actual price of these goods and margin of profits.”
He said that the participation of more middlemen led to the sharp increase in the prices of goods as these middlemen have monopolised over profit margins.
“Considering this problem, we are actively working to force the traders to issue bills in business. We can take action against those wrong doers based on the bills,” he told The Rising Nepal.
According to him, the monitoring team is confused whether the present price of vegetables and meat items is natural or artificial ones, as there is no evidence of actual price of these items.
“Our monitoring team has raided various wholesale vegetable markets and meats shops inside the Valley continuously after receiving grievances from consumers regarding the skyrocketing prices,” he said.
During a month-long period, the DoSMPCI took action against 30 vegetables shops operated at the wholesale vegetable market and six meat shops after the team found that they were selling vegetables and meat at higher prices as compared to other shops.
Short supply of vegetables due to a halt in the import of vegetables from India caused by pesticide checking issues tightening of quarantine check for goats by the government authority at Nepal-India customs attributed to increase in the prices in Nepal, including Kathmandu, he said.
“As per the principle of open market, demand and supply would help fix the prices. So, the short supply of these goods is against higher demand automatically contribute to higher prices,” he said.
The department deployed one or two monitoring teams daily in the market, he said, adding that the shortage of manpower was also becoming a challenge to intensify the monitoring. “We are going to request the Ministry of General Administration to provide additional staffs to strengthen the market monitoring targeting the upcoming Dashain festival,” he said.
According to Bhagawan Chandra Upreti, a wholesale of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, the price of vegetables increased due to short supply.
He said that the price of vegetables is significantly higher than the wholesale market due to lack of market monitoring.
He urged the government to monitor retail market along with wholesale market to control unnatural profit of the retailers.
Currently, maximum price of capsicum is Rs. 85 per kilogram in wholesale market and average price of any of vegetable item stands at Rs.55 per kilo. However, the retail prices of these items are three times higher than the prices at wholesale market.
Goat Trader Deepak Thapa said that the price of live goats increased more than Rs. 100 per kilogram due to short supply of goats in the country.
The price of goat meat reached to Rs. 1,350 per kilogram in the Kathmandu Valley, he said, adding that meat price is fluctuating because of the fluctuation in the purchase price of live goats by meat retailers.

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