KATHMANDU, Oct 17: The number of people visiting government-run fair price outlets is increasing as the Dashain festivities draw nearer.
The government has been selling essential commodities such as rice, sugar, edible oil, ghee and salt, among others at subsidized prices through different outlets of four state-owned entities to give some relief to low-income group during major festivals.
People can also buy home appliances, machineries, electrical appliances and liquors, among others, at discounted price from the shops that will run till November 19.
Four state-owned enterprises -- National Trading Ltd (NTL), Salt Trading Corporation (STC), Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) and Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) - have set up outlets at Suryabinayak Bhaktapur, Bishal Bazaar Patan, Kalimati, Koteshwar, Thapathali and Teku in the capital.
The Ministry of Commerce and Supplies have provided Rs 35.8 million as direct subsidy to NFC, NTL and STC to arrange subsidized goods for consumers during major festivals.
Parmila Shrestha, who was buying stuffs when Republica caught her at a STC outlet on Wednesday, said fair price shops are the suitable shopping destinations for low-income customers.
“We can find essential commodities at cheaper price at a time when traders are arbitrarily fixing prices in the absence of proper market monitoring,” Swastika Siwakoti, another buyer, said.
Shrijan Regmi, senior assistant of STC, said the number of customers at fair-price shops has increased with the beginning of the 15-day festival. Consumers are getting discount of Rs 3 per kg on salt, Rs 5 per liter on edible oil and Rs 11 per kg on sugar from STC´s outlet. “Other essential commodities are also being sold at cheaper price,” said Regmi.
The state undertakings are also offering discount of up to Rs 12 per kg on rice.
“We are selling around 3,000 kg sugar per day,” said Regmi.
Ashok KC, a senior assistant of DDC, said the state-owned dairy producer was selling dairy products worth Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per day.
DDC has been selling dairy products like ghee, yoghurt, paneer, sweets and lassi, among others, from its stalls.