Lockdown: artificial shortage of daily essentials leads to soaring market price

Economy

KATHMANDU.
Consumers have complained of price hike of daily essentials such as rice, pulse, flour and edible oil when the nationwide lockdown against coronavirus has been in force since March 24. There are complaints that artificial scarcity in the market supply chain has been created to take undue advantages of the lockdown. The violation of market ethics has led to the rise in market price and it is no doubt that general consumers are at the receiving end. Even the suppliers have taken the crisis as a good time to cash in. Moreover, the retailers point out at whole-sellers to justify the cause of price rise and wholesale suppliers point out at industries. Some traders cite the short supply of goods during the crisis and seem busy in clearing their old stock. 
Ramita Bista of Imadol, Lalitpur, said these days she could not purchase goods as per her choice and more suppliers were overcharging customers. Prices of noodles, biscuits, foodstuffs, soap and detergent powders have soared after the lockdown. Last week, she had to pay Rs 20 for a packet of noodles against the retail price of Rs 15. Now the price of rice has reached Rs 1,800 per sack for which she had paid Rs 1,600 two months ago. Consumers have no option but to follow the demand of suppliers. 
Consumers’ Rights Investigation Forum’s President Madhav Timilsina said prices of vegetables had fallen during the lockdown, but contrary to this, prices of food and fruits had significantly