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Market prices rise with Lockdown, Government says 'black market will not be allowed'

'Ten rupees increased in two-three days ?!' 

Suresh Maharjan, who went to a food shop in Kirtipur to buy a liter of cooking oil, asked the shopkeeper. 

The shopkeeper replied, "I don't know what to do tomorrow." 

"It's more expensive than the corona infection," said Suresh, laughing and carrying a packet of oil.

Suddenly, a woman arrived at the same store looking for cooking gas. 

"Is there gas?" The shopkeeper did not listen to his question. 

"Is there gas in the shop?" The second time he asked in a slightly louder voice, the shopkeeper replied that he had not come yet. The woman asked how long the gas would last. The shopkeeper replied, "I don't know." The woman returned from there. 

Saraswati Kunwar, who lives in Kirtipur Panga, is also worried that she will die without food rather than corona. He said that the price of goods has increased in the market now as compared to the previous ban. "The price of cooking oil was Rs 300 per liter. Now it has gone up by Rs 10, Rs 120 for two potatoes and Rs 160 in three days," he said. 

After spending last year's Lakdaun in Kathmandu, she is worried about how this year's ban will be lifted. "I could not return to the village when the government allowed me to go. How can I stay in Kathmandu now?" He said worriedly. 

These are just some of the representative characters. Some traders have used the ban as an excuse to cover up the epidemic. The price of goods varies from shop to shop. The price of food items has not been touched within 2/3 days of the ban. 

Consumers have complained that the government has not been able to monitor the situation effectively and the shopkeepers have created artificial shortages. 

 Regular market monitoring: Government

The Department of Commerce, Supplies, and Consumer Protection have stated that the market is being monitored regularly.

According to the department, the monitoring has been carried out by giving priority to daily necessities instead of monitoring based on consumer complaints. One or two teams are used regularly to monitor the market, but now six teams have been formed. The department has stated that all six teams are ready to monitor the market regularly and mobilize additional manpower and vehicles if necessary. 

"If there is regular availability of goods, there will be no black market. That is why we have given first priority to the availability of goods," said Narayan Regmi, spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies. According to Regmi, the first priority has been given to the transportation process and the monitoring will be expedited from now on. 

Spokesperson Regmi says that no citizen has complained about the black market so far. 'Unofficially, minor complaints have come. The unofficial complaints are that masks and sanitizers cost more than food. Demand for masks and sanitizers has increased over the past year. It has not increased suddenly now, 'he said. The ministry has said that action will be taken if any increase is found during the monitoring. 

The Consumer Protection Act 2075 has ensured the right of traders to take immediate action and impose a fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 300,000 if they are found to have cheated by selling at a higher price.

There is a provision in the Black Market Act to take action if it is found that there is a shortage of daily necessities in the market due to Korana's terror. 

'Supply is getting regular' 

The spokesperson at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies Narayan Regmi said that gas and food items are being supplied as usual.

The production, transportation, and distribution of essential materials are being done as per the regular process. So far there is no obstacle in that. He said that the supply management of daily necessities and essentials is easy and the stock is sufficient.

The Food Management and Trade Company Limited currently has a stock of 29,722 metric tonnes of rice. Similarly, there is an additional 2,953 metric tonnes of rice in stock in remote districts along with food.  

Similarly, wheat has 4,388 quintals in stock. The Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has stated that it is selling daily necessities at reasonable prices from the sales outlets at four places in the Kathmandu Valley including Thapathali, Ramshahpath, Nakhu, and Suryabinayak. 

The food company is selling rice including basmati and marmalade of Jumla, beans of Karnali, cooking oil, ghee, and sanitizer to ease the epidemic. Similarly, Salt Trading Corporation Limited has stated that it has 11 months of salt stock. Sugar is also sufficient. The company claims that in the epidemic, consumers can buy salt and sugar by sitting in the toll booth and putting it in a delivery van, and selling it by miking. 

Similarly, Nepal Oil Corporation has 46,332 metric tons of LP gas for cooking. Similarly, the corporation has 48,245 kiloliters in stock including diesel, petrol, and kerosene.

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