-  Monday 28 September 2020

Prices soar in Valley as blockade affects supplies

KATHMANDU, March 15 - Prices of essential commodities have shot up by up to 80 percent in the capital, as an indefinite blockade imposed by the Maoists halted movement of trucks carrying these commodities. However, consumers have not yet faced scarcity of these goods in the market.
The data of Kalimati Fruit and Vegetables Market (KFVM) shows that wholesale price of small tomato soared by a blistering 80 percent to Rs 35.20 per kilogram today, up from Rs 19.60 per kilogram before the beginning of the blockade.

Prices of cabbages, white radishes, sword beans, yam increased by 54.02 percent, 74.55 percent, 38.10 percent, and 35.30 percent respectively to touch Rs 13.40, Rs 9.60, Rs 29, and Rs 19 per kilogram.

Green chillies, onions and long brinjals recorded rises of 26.33 percent, 27.92 percent, and 37.74 percent. Their today's wholesale prices are Rs 47.50 per kilogram, Rs 29, and Rs 29.20 per kilogram respectively.

Commenting on the price increment, an official at the KFVM said it is obvious for the prices to rise when demand outstrips supply.

According to the official, only 250 metric tons of vegetables were brought into the market on Tuesday, while around 450 metric tons of vegetables were imported daily in normal times.

The blockade has also triggered a price rise in fruits. According to KFVM's figure, the price of apples rose to Rs 57 per kilogram, up from Rs 46.50. Furthermore, prices of bananas and grapes leapt by 12 percent and 17.39 percent to Rs 23.50 and Rs 67.50 per kilogram.

Naryan Dhital, president of Kuleshwor Fruits Market, the main fruit supplier in the capital, said the blockade has severely disturbed the fruits supplies, thereby fueling price rise. "Not even a single truck carried fruits today," he said, adding that around 10 to 15 trucks used to carry fruits daily during normal times.

The blockade has also equally affected supplies of foodgrains, thus pushing up their prices. "With imposition of blockade, the price of food grains rose in the range of anywhere between two to five rupees per kilogram," said Upendra Sharma, a grocery shop owner.

Officials at the Department of Commerce (DoC) said despite rise in prices, the consumers would not see any shortage of food items. "Both the public and private enterprises have stock of goods enough for one and a half months," said Gaja Bahadur Rana, director of DoC.

On the price rise, he said the government has focused on availability of goods rather than the price stability. "The government will step in to take measures to control prices only if prices soar to unreasonably high level," he said.

Commodities Today's price     Price per kg
                  per kg              before blockade

Small tomatoes Rs 35.20 Rs 19.60

White radishes Rs 9.60 Rs 5.50

Green onions Rs 29 Rs 22.67

Chillies Rs 47.50 Rs 37

Apples Rs 57.50 Rs 46.50

Grapes Rs 67.50 Rs 57.50

The Kathmanud Post

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