Like the rest of the world, Nepal is now infected with coronavirus. Due to the corona, there has been lockdown in various places for the last one and a half years. By the time of the lockdown, most of the people have become unemployed. At a time when the daily life of the country and the general public is becoming chaotic, the prices of consumer goods have skyrocketed.
Pulses and rice prices have continued to rise. In addition, the prices of most food items including edible oil, tea leaves, spices, chilies, and sugar have gone up unexpectedly.
The price of sunflower oil, which was Rs 230 before the strike, has now risen to Rs 280. The price of a liter of oil has gone up by Rs 50. Mustard oil, which costs Rs 250, has now crossed Rs 300 in the market.
Not only edible oil but also most food items have gone up sharply. Taking advantage of the ban, traders have voluntarily increased food prices. Traders seem to have taken advantage of the weak market monitoring and political crisis due to the difference in the price of goods from shop to shop.
It is alleged by the general public that traders of all walks of life are busy looting the consumers by hiding the essential goods in stock and showing artificial shortages. Comparing the current market price and the market price before the lockdown, the overall market price has increased by an average of 20 percent.
It is natural that consumers will be directly affected by the continuous rise in food prices. Rashmi Shrestha, a local from Bhaktapur, says that they have to eat rice with salt due to the sharp rise in food prices. Her husband works in the timber industry. In the meantime, her salary has not increased but the price of food has skyrocketed, she says, “it is becoming difficult to survive.”
Dhurba Adhikari, an executive member of the retail trade association, said there was no significant difference in the price of goods before and after the lockdown. Prices have risen due to the lack of goods in the lockdown. He claims that the price of goods has gone down in recent days.
However, it is easy to see that the unemployed and the poor have been hit the hardest due to the closure of employment opportunities and the increase in the prices of daily necessities.