First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: The government has ensured that there will be no shortage of daily necessities during Dashain, Tihar and Chhath, the country’s biggest festive season.
According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS), the government has a total stock of 116,000 tons of rice.
Of the total stock, 14,000 tons are with the government body Food Management and Trade Company Ltd (FMTCL) and 120,000 tons with the private sector, according to the ministry. Secretary at the MoICS, Baikuntha Aryal, said that there is a possibility of the stock increasing as it is the season of paddy imports. As per him, additional food grains are also being imported from abroad.
According to the ministry, apart from adequate production and stock, the government is also supplying food in sufficient quantities. The FMTCL supplied 5,700 tons of food items per day in September alone.
The ministry further stated that this year food items have been delivered to more areas, especially in remote mountainous regions where there is scarcity of food and various other problems. The FMTCL has stated that there is a total stock of 15,000 metric tons of rice even in the high mountainous and remote areas. The food items are being transported via helicopters.
Similarly, Salt Trading Corporation (STC), another public enterprise, has stated that it has stock of 145,000 metric tons of salt. It has said that the stock is enough to meet market demand for at least nine to 10 months.
At present, the government has enough sugar only for general retail trade but FMTCL and STC are preparing to import 30,000 metric tons of sugar soon.
Keeping the festive season in mind, STC has already started the process of importing 20,000 metric tons of sugar, while FMTCL plans to import 10,000 metric tons of sugar for the first time.
Meanwhile, STC has informed that 20,000 metric tons of sugar will be imported by tomorrow. On the other hand, the private sector has been facing problems in sugar supply as the production of the sweetener was low in fiscal year 2019/2020.
The government has said that the supply of fruits and vegetables has remained normal but in the current fiscal year domestic production has reduced and the country has become completely dependent on imports. As per MoICS, an average of 1,900 tons of fruits and vegetables had to be imported daily in September and October of the current fiscal year alone.
The ministry has stated that the supply of fruits and vegetables will remain normal during the festive season.
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