Sunday, 5 December, 2021

Market in Kathmandu opens only partially


By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, Sept. 11: With the relaxation of the prohibition order, businesses and shops in the Kathmandu Valley were opened only partially on Thursday.
People’s movement in the market has begun although only a few traders have opened their shops following the decision of the District Administration Offices of the three districts in the Kathmandu Valley to allow the businesses to open, said Naresh Katwal, president of Nepal National Traders’ Federation.
Chief District Officers of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur on Wednesday decided to ease restrictions imposed since August 19.
They decided to allow private and some public vehicles ply the roads of the capital in the odd-even system from Thursday.
“The shops inside the Kathmandu Valley are opened partially from this morning. The flow of customers has been seen in the market. But the decision to allow the fancy shops to open only three days a week has discouraged traders and customers as well,” he said.
The customers have to visit shops daily to purchase their required goods as different shops open on different days and times, he said, adding that the decision would only lead to crowd of people in the market.
He, however, said that the traders were happy from the decision and were encouraged to open shops adopting the health protocol issued by the government.
Katwal urged the government and Chief District Officers of the Kathmandu Valley to allow the traders to open all types of shops every day by maintaining social distance.
The government has fixed certain days of the week to open certain types of shops and businesses. It has allowed shopping malls, garment outlets, cosmetic shops to open on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday and kitchen shops on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday and furniture and automobile shops on Monday and Wednesday.
The shops selling foodstuffs will open until 11 am and between 5 pm and 7 pm every day whereas takeaway and home delivery services are allowed from 2 pm to 7 pm.
Cooperatives will operate from 11 am to 3 pm.
The Federation will submit a memorandum to the concerned ministers and authorities demanding for permits to open all shops normally, he told The Rising Nepal.
Chairman of R.B. Complex Parshuram Dahal said that only around 20 shops out of 300 running inside the complex had opened on Thursday.
“The inflow of customers in the complex is thin as people are aware of COVID-19. So, the government should open certain areas on certain days instead of allowing certain shops to open on certain dates,” he said.
There is no likelihood to increase sales until and unless the income of people rises as the prolonged nationwide lockdown has reduced the purchasing power of the consumers, he said.
“Almost all businessmen are in panic due to the prolonged lockdown and prohibition and they are waiting for its relaxation. So, they open their shops and businesses even though there are no customers,” Kamalesh Agrawal, Vice-President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce, said.
Welcoming the government decision to ease the prohibition and allow the operation of businesses and offices, he said that the decision would support the industrialists and traders to run their businesses and general people to do their work.
He said that the government should focus on the management of COVID-19 and open the market gradually to make the national economy vibrant.