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Food trading company claims that there will be no shortage of sugar in Tihar and Chhath

Kathmandu: A food trading company tasked to bring 10,000 tonnes of sugar for the festival has not been able to bring sugar yet. But the company has claimed that there will be no shortage of sugar in this year's Tihar and Chhath festivals.

Even though it was not possible to import 10,000 tonnes of sugar, it was being sold by the Salt Trading Corporation, said Shrimani Khanal, Deputy General Manager of the company. He said that the sugar brought by Salt Trading is now being bought and sold by the Nepal Food Corporation. However, it has been decided that the company's concession will not come during the sugar festival and Chhath festival.

The cabinet meeting held on July 28 gave the responsibility to the food trading company and the salt trading corporation to import 30,000 metric tonnes of sugar targeting the festival, but the food trading company could not bring the sugar on time. At that time, the government had given permission to the food trading company to import 10,000 tonnes of sugar and the salt trading company to import 20,000 tonnes of sugar with 50 percent customs duty exemption.

As per the approval given by the government, Salt Trading is bringing concessional sugar. However, the food trading company has not been able to decide on the sugar importing company. General Manager Khanal said that the subsidized sugar would not arrive on time as no company had shown interest in the tender for importing sugar.

He also said that preparations are being made to invite tenders for the second time for sugar import. He said that it would take three months to import sugar after completing all the procedures even after inviting tenders. The Salt Trading Corporation has so far imported 5,000 tonnes of sugar. The remaining sugar is being imported, said Brajesh Kumar Jha, department head of Salt Trading.

Private traders have been selling sugar at high prices as there is not enough sugar at concessional rates. Sugar imported at a discounted rate has been selling at Rs 73 per kg. An additional Rs 3 discount has been given for the festive season and Rs 70 per kg of Salt Trading sugar. However, traders have been selling at Rs 85 to Rs 95 per kg in the market.

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