Nepal Today

Friday, September 28, 2012

INDIA JATRA FESTIVAL BEGINS SATURDAY Kathmandu, 29 Sept.: India Jatra is being celebrated by pulling the Chariots of The Living Goddess Kumari and Ganesh and Bhairab through the streets of the capital Saturday in the presence of dignitaries, including the president, at Gaddi Baithak in Basantapur. The festival coincides with the harvesting of the paddy crop and onset of autumn/winter and the onset of the festive season marred with the fall of the lingo at Hanuman Dhoka in front of Taleju temple.for the first time. Many believe the fall of the lingo is a bad omen. Several days earlier, an avalanche killed a Nepali and European climbers on the 8163 meters high Maasku and 19 passengers and crew were killed in a Sita Air crash ra near Kathmandu Friday morning. nnnn.. ANOTHER ANNOUNCED GOVT. PROGRAMME CRAWLS Kathmandu, 29 Sept.:It has been almost two weeks since the government fixed the maximum retail price (MRP) for 15 essential daily commodities; but there has been no effective implementation of the regulation in most retail shops, and in some cases, it has actually made things more expensive, Ramesh Shrestha/ Raaaaajesh Khanal write in The Kathmandu Post. Though a handful of big retail shops were found to be selling goods as per the MRP, the new rule has had no impact on small retailers from where people usually buy their daily needs. Many small retailers do not know about the MRP, and even those who do have been found to be selling goods at the usual price which is higher than the MRP. The retailers who said they know about the regulation said that they were not able to sell goods at government prices as they have to pay more to wholesalers. “Small retailers who buy goods in small quantities from big stores and wholesalers are finding it hard to implement the MRP as they have a very low profit margin,” said Pabitra Bajracharya, president of the association. “If the MRP is enforced fully, thousands of retailers will be forced to pull down their shutters.” Retailers have been found to be charging Rs 2 to Rs 14 higher that the government rates depending on the commodities. “Prices of basic goods have increased instead of being available at government fixed rates,” said Prem Lal Maharjan, president of the National Consumer Forum. He added that, for example, sona mansuli rice, which used to be sold at Rs 36 per kg, had increased to Rs 45 per kg; and the price of cowpea has jumped from the government set Rs 96 to Rs 110. “Fixing the price is easy, but the government is not serious about small retailers who too have to make a profit for their living,” said Surendra Tamrakar, a retailer at Sankhamul. He added that they had not been getting stock at the government set prices from wholesalers. Kulchandra Sunuwar of KC Masala Store in Lazimpat said, “Despite the government’s decision, we have not been getting basic goods at the rates set by the government, and its monitoring too has not been effective.” Meanwhile, officials of the Department of Commerce and Supply Management said that since the provision was new and new stocks of goods were yet to reach the retailers, it was not being implemented effectively. On Sept 13, the government had set the MRP for 15 essential goods in a bid to prevent price hikes and provide relief to consumers. Based on this declaration, the Nepal Chamber of Commerce and the Nepal Retailers Associations had informed their member merchants to sell goods at the government set prices. The consumer forum had carried out a market inspection after the MRP was announced, and found out that the government’s good intentions had actually made things more expensive. According to the study, the government has provided traders a discount of 2 percent on the MRP for packed essential goods including edible oil and lentils. Citing an example of cooking oil, Maharjan said that consumers could earlier get Sunflower oil at Rs 140 per litre even though the price printed on the packet is Rs 180. Following the government’s intervention, customers have to pay more than Rs 170. Shopkeepers claim that they have been selling packed goods for less than the printed price. “Normally, there is already a discount of more than 2 percent on packed rice and edible oil,” said Anita Lama of Shubharambha Multipurpose Cooperative Shop at Koteshwor. It’s working, says govt The Depart-ment of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) has claimed that implementation of the maximum retail price (MRP) has had a notable impact on the market. DoCSM Director General Narayan Prasad Bidari said that there have been very few cases of retailers not sticking to the MRP. “Action will be taken against the offenders as per the Black Marketing Act,” he said, speaking at an MRP review meeting on Friday. The DoCSM has deployed two teams to check the price lists at least 10-12 shops daily. Meanwhile, retailers said that the MRP had been enforced to a large extent. “It has not been implemented properly at department stores and small shops who buy stock from large retailers,” Pavitra Bajracharya, president of the Nepal Retailers’ Association said. nnnn


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