By Laxman Kafle, Kathmandu, July 26: The price of sugar has been skyrocketing in the market lately. Consumers have compelled to purchase sugar paying up to Rs. 90 per kilogram from the retail shops at present.
However, public enterprise Salt Trading Corporation (STC) is selling sugar at Rs. 73 per kilogram from its outlets.
Price of sugar was Rs. 80 per kilogram at the retail market before lockdown but it prices soared unexpectedly.
A consumer of Ramkot Dinesh Rimal came at outlet of Salt Trading Corporation, Kalimati on Friday to purchase sugar citing that here is available sugar at Rs. 73 per kilogram.
“I purchased five kilogram of sugar at STC counter after getting in lower rate than the retail shop. In retail shops, the price of sugar is ranging from Rs. 85 to 95 per kilogram,” he told The Rising Nepal.
He wanted to purchase 10 kilogram of sugar after getting in cheaper rate but the STC give only five kilogram for a person.
According to him, he was shocked after traders hiked sugar prices unnaturally showing the cause of short supply.
Not only sugar, but also other items such as rice, lintels, oil are increasing in the retail shops, he said.
Likewise, another consumer Janaki Devkota came from Kalanki to STC outlets Kalamiti to buy essential goods including rice, sugar and other items.
She came here after knowing that STC was selling sugar at Rs. 73 per kilogram but sugar price was above Rs. 90 in retail shops nearby her resident.
She said that the government should monitor the market and take action against those traders who are cheating consumer by selling essential goods including sugar in high rate cashing the benefit of lockdown.
Soaring price of sugar in the retail shops, flow of people at the STC outlets is growing day by day, said Urmila Shrestha, Chief Executive Officer of STC.
Following the running out the stock of sugar, STC is selling sugar only five kilogram for a consumers from its outlets.
“The demand of sugar by consumers is higher than 10 kilogram but we are selling only five kilogram for a person, she said.
“Due to running out the stock of sugar in STC, we stopped sales to the wholesaler. At present, we have around 1,000 tonnes of sugar in stock. If we sold sugar to wholesaler, the stock will finish within a week, she said.
Sashi Kanta Agrawal, president of Sugar Producers’ Association, said that the stock of sugar at the sugar mills was running out as only around 6,000 tonnes sugar was in stock with few sugar mills.
“The present stock of sugar having with the sugar mills will finish within a week. But around 15,000 tonnes of sugar might be in stock at market including wholesale,” he said.
Around 180,000 tonnes of sugar produced at the sugar mills in the last season.
The price of sugar could not be high more than Rs. 80-82 in retail market based on the selling price of sugar mills, VAT, transportation and other profit of traders.
Currently, the sugar mills are selling sugar at Rs. 64-65 per kilogram.
High profit margin of traders including wholesaler are main reason behind to hike the price of sugar in the market at present, he said, adding that the government should monitor the market to control artificial price hike of sugar.