KATHMANDU, Jan 5: The government has decided to revise the maximum retail prices (MRPs) of essential commodities after almost four months of first introducing them.
The Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM), in coordination with other government bodies and traders, on September 13 fixed MRPs of 15 daily consumable food items, lowering their prices by Re 1 to Rs 13 per kg.
“We have decided to revise the MRPs of essential commodities as we have left them untouched for the last four months,” said Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of the DoCSM.
In this regard, the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) has called a meeting next week to adjust the prices of commodities in line with the current market trend. During the meeting, effectiveness of the MRPs will also be discussed.
“The meeting will be held on Monday or Tuesday. It will discuss the latest market price and assess the effectiveness of the MRPs fixed earlier,” said Bidari.
The government had earlier fixed the MRPs of four varieties of rice and two varieties each of lentil, maas pulse and mung pulse. At that time MRPs of gram, white pea, bean, wheat flour and refined flour were also fixed. But in the case of edible oil, the government had asked traders to provide two percent discount on all varieties.
“As per the market monitoring report, we have come to know that prices of many of these commodities have gone up, while prices of few have come down. The price revision will prevent artificial price hikes,” Bidari said.
According to the Nepal Retailers´ Association (NRA), market prices of essential commodities like lentils and pulses have lately surpassed MRPs by Rs 5 per kg. Prices of rice and sugar have remained almost stable, while market prices of oil have exceeded the MRPs by Rs 5 to Rs 10 per liter.
“As prices of commodities keep on fluctuating depending on the supply situation, the government should revise the MRPs at regular intervals,” said NRA President Pabitra Bajracharya, acknowledging traders currently have not been able to sell the selected commodities at government-fixed MRPs as their prices have gone up in the market.