Nepali gov't working on price policy to control market prices

13:01, June 10, 2010      

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The Nepali government is working on a price policy to control market prices and ensure easy availability of daily essentials at reasonable prices, local media reported on Thursday.

According to The Rising Nepal daily, even though the Consumer Rights Protection Act 1998 has mentioned the possibility of formulating policies related to quality, price and supply of consumer goods and services, it has not been done despite the occurrence of irregularities like hoarding and unnatural price hikes.

"As this crucial policy has always remained out of focus, we are working to get it endorsed before the end of the next fiscal year," said Anik Thakur, director general of the Department of Commerce. "Besides, for controlling the market, it will also clearly indicate the duty of the central government and district level government bodies working for consumer rights protection."

Initially, the department will draft a price policy and discuss it with all the stakeholders including traders, consumer rights groups, business people and experts from to make a joint action plan.

The department has proposed formulating the price policy in the budget for the next fiscal year 2010/11. The department is also planning to set up a Reference Price Information Center with the money to inform the general public about market prices.

The government is amending the existing Consumer Rights Protection Act by incorporating different provisions such as clear definition of hoarding to discourage black marketing of essential commodities. "There were cases of hoarding, however, we could not take strong against those involved in unethical practices due to lack of relevant laws," said Thakur.



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