Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Caretaker premier directs line agencies to monitor market to check inflation

The caretaker Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai today directed the line ministries and departments to control price hike as soon as possible.
He directed them to start effective market monitoring to check cartel, black marketing and unnatural price hike during the festive season.
National Consumer Forum –– a consumer rights group –– has yesterday asked the government to control the skyrocketing price hike. The group has urged the government to control the artificial price hike of sugar and rice, writing a letter to chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal.
The group said that the price of sugar has reached Rs 90 per kg in a very short time. “The price of sugar has been increasing rapidly but the government is silent about it,” said president of the group Prem Lal Maharjan, explaining the importance of the letter. We have asked the government to take strong action soon, he said, adding that it is high time that the government intervene in the sugar market.
The price of sugar had started rising from mid-June with an increase of Rs five in one kg. And it accelerated in July and finally reached Rs 80 per kg in mid-August. “It has touched Rs 90 a kg in retail shops in recent days,” he said. Earlier, the price of sugar had remained constant at Rs 65 per kg from November to May.
Similarly, the group has asked the government to control the price of rice too. In the last one and a half months the price of rice has increased by more than Rs 10 per kg. Maharjan questioned on how the price of rice could increase when there was surplus production this year. “The government must control the artificial price hike,” he said.
The group has also asked the government to control the illegal import of sugar from India. According to the group, sugar mills and big business houses are involved in the illegal import. “They are importing in bulk and distributing at a higher price after repackaging,” he said, without indicating the mills and business houses involved in the business.

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