As Dashain and Tihar, the two big festivals of Nepali people, are approaching closer, prices of essential goods, including cooking oil, LP gas, ghee, pulses, lentils and food grains have skyrocketed in the market. According to Nepal Retailer Association, prices of daily essentials have increased by 10 per cent on average in the last two months. The prices of oil, pulses and lentils had increased significantly in the retail shops due to the monopoly of the wholesalers and the suppliers, said Amul Kaju Tuladhar, Secretary at the Nepal Retailer Association.
“Lately, the overall price rise is 5 to 10 per cent,” he said. “However, the price of edible oil has gone up by Rs. 110 per litre in a year.” “The claims of the wholesalers regarding the high prices of pulses and oil are not justified as there is no short supply of essential goods in the market at present. The wholesalers are trying to take advantage of festival season by hiking prices as the demands for goods increase during festival time,” he said. He informed that the importers and producers had hiked the prices, not the retailers citing increased import price as reason. The price of roasted mustard oil, which was Rs. 270 in September last year, has now reached Rs. 340 to 360 per liter. Price of crude mustard oil has also increased from Rs. 180-200 per litre to Rs. 300 as well. The price of soybean oil has gone up to Rs 250-260 per litre and sunflower oil from Rs. 175-180 per litre to Rs. 250. The price of red lentils has gone up to Rs. 160 per kg from Rs. 110 kg in the year before. Similarly, the price of peas has almost doubled in a year. A kg of peas costs Rs. 140 at present while it was Rs. 70-80 last year.