Fair price shops come into operation from today

Kathmandu: The Ministry of Supplies from Friday opened fair price shops at nine different locations in the Kathmandu valley.

The shops, which will be operated till October 26, will offer essential commodities at discounted prices targeting the upcoming Dashain, Tihar and Chhath festivals.

The ministry has run these stores in association with public enterprises, including Nepal Food Corporation (NFC), Nepal Diary Development Board and Salt Trading Corporation (STC).

The outlet will be opened in at Kalimati, Thapathali, Koteshwor, Balaju, Teku, and Sallaghari in Bhaktapur and Nakhhu in Lalitpur. It is also extending fair price shops in Jawlakhel in Lalitpur and Suryabinayak in Bhaktapur this year.

The government opens the fair price shops every year during the festival period in a bid to provide relief to low-income people from soaring prices that usually accompany the festivals.

“Our aim is to monitor the market price and sell essential food items at subsidised rate,” said Shankar Sapkota, spokesperson for NFC.

Sapkota said that STC offered discount of Rs 5 on a kg of sugar and salt. Nepal Diary Development Board offered discount of Rs10 per kg on ghee, milk and paneer.

Similarly, the NFC would sell food items offering Rs10 on a kg of food items like beans and pulse.

Sapkota said that the move of opening fair price shops is also aimed at discouraging artificial shortage of food items during the festive season. “It will discourage the trend of increasing the price of essential commodities by creating artificial shortage by opportunist traders.”

NFC will be mobilising 32 staffers to run the subsidised shops in various areas. NFC is also planning to sell live goats that will be relatively cheaper as compared to the market prices. It plans to sell 2,500 goats in Kathmandu.

According to officials 1,500 goats would be brought from Makwanpur and Dang, while 1,000 mountain goats would be shipped from Mustang.