KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 29
The Food Management and Trade Company Ltd (FMTCL) has announced that it will be opening fair price shops from Thursday.
FMTCL will be opening the shops targeting the festive season in association with Salt Trading Corporation (STC) and Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) in Kalimati, Koteshwor, Teku, Singha Durbar, Satungal, and other places of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
As per FMTCL, it will operate five shops, while STC and DDC will operate five and three shops, respectively. The shops will be open till the Chhath festival. Last year, the government had operated a total of 73 shops across the country with STC operating a total of 35 such outlets, including three mobile outlets, while FMTCL and DDC had operated 23 and 15 shops, respectively, within and outside the Valley.
According to FMTCL, it has still not decided on the price that it will be charging for the food items that it will be selling through the fair price shops.
The company has, however, made a commitment to increase the number of outlets and mobile outlet services gradually. However, looking at the increasing threat of COV- ID-19 infection the government has not taken any decision yet to open such outlets outside the valley.
Generally, the government operates outlets across the country and sells goods like rice, ghee, salt and sugar, among others, at subsidised rates to control the inflation of daily consumables during the festive season and provide relief to consumers. Starting from Dashain, the shops are open till Chhath.
Amid this, FMTCL has decided to purchase 3,000 goats and mountain goats targeting the Dashain festival. As per the company, 1,400 mountain goats and 1,600 goats will be purchased for the festival. The goats will be purchased from Nepalgunj, Hetauda and Dang, among other districts while mountain goats will be purchased from Mustang.
As per Sharmila Neupane, information officer of FMTCL, the price of goats and mountain goats might increase this year as farmers are increasing the price due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, due to the pandemic transportation will be costlier too, she added.
A version of this article appears in print on September 30, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.