April 13, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

High cost of living


The Nepal Weekly
October 3, 2023

Although the high cost of living is the most worrying issue for the people of Nepal at the moment, those in governance-sphere do not take it seriously. Big festivals such as Dashain and Tihar are just a few weeks away and the market is positioning itself to take advantage of people’s compulsion to spend for the great annual occasions. The government has a formal mechanism to survey the market behavior, price structure, supply chain flow and demand of goods and services particularly related to the basic needs of ordinary Nepalis, it, in essence, does not function at all. This gives sellers freedom to raise price at their whim irrespective of whatever happens to the consumers. Because of this festival time market has been a tool for sellers to earn most at the cost of poor consumers. The occasion has been an opportunity for them to sell nonstandard goods and cheating the consumers. Observing festivals particularly through spending more on food particularly meat products, dress, gifts and other rituals has been a norm none could deny. Those belonging to the fixed income category are in pain because of high market price and rising trend of observing festivals extravagantly. Both the government and the private sector traders should take the high cost of living very seriously and undertake measures to provide some sort of financial relief to the people. Finance Minister understands the point but has failed completely to display skills for helping people to cope with the high price rise in the market. Leaders of the Federation of Nepali Chambers of Commerce and Industries and Nepal Chambers of Commerce should also take initiative in make the festival time market and shoppers’ behavior responsive to all issues created by rising cost of living. After all democracy expects fair market behavior and responsible acts from all concerned. Markets in democracy should be developed in such a manner as could be beneficial to all in demand supply chain. Let the 2023 festival be a time for the democratic government to act with a sense of responsibility in the interest of the consumers and without harming the interest of producers! A tall demand, indeed!