DADELDHURA, May 24: Taking advantage of the ongoing shutdowns, unscrupulous traders in the far-west have raised the prices of basic commodities.
Locals claimed, that a sack of Mansuli rice originally priced at Rs 2,000 is being sold for Rs 2,600. Similarly, price of sugar per kg has jumped to Rs 75 from 65 and black lentil originally priced at Rs 100 per kg now costs Rs 120.
While prices of basic commodities have gone up by as much as 30 percent in the cities, the hike is almost double in the hilly districts. “This is black marketeering. Unscrupulous traders have been taking advantage of the situation,” said Rajendra Pandeya, a local.
With the strike entering 27 days, which has brought transportation in Tarai districts to a complete halt, the hill districts of the far west have been facing an acute shortage of food items.
Coarse rice originally priced at Rs 45 per kg now costs Rs 55. The price of tomato has doubled to Rs 80 per kg from Rs 40. “Traders have even created artificial shortage in the market to justify the price hike,” Pandeya said.
Traders, however, debunked the charges. “Food commodities have become dearer as transport fares have been doubled due to the banda,” said Jeet Raj Bhatta, a trader.
“Hike in price truly might appear unfair. But it is an outcome of fuel shortage and transporters´ high-handedness,” said Mahadev Bhatta, member of Dadeldhura Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Daily wage workers have been the hardest hit. “All the basic commodities have become expensive. Life has become pretty painful,” said one Jaya Bahadur Bohora, a daily wage worker.