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Pulse, rice, edible oil prices go up

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Kathmandu, April 21, 2016: The price of some foods, including pulses, rice and edible oil, has increased in the retail market.

Compared to a month ago, the retail prices of some varieties of pulses have gone up by as much as Rs 25 per kg; the price of rice by Rs 4 per kg; and those of edible oil by as much as Rs 20 per liter.

The price of pulses saw the widest increase in the local market. In the space of one month, the price of red lentil (musuro) rose by Rs 20 per kg to Rs 150. Likewise, black gram (maas) became Rs 25 per kg more expensive during the month, retailing at Rs 250 per kg on Wednesday while the price of split red gram (rahar) jumped Rs 20 per kg to Rs 250. The price of Bengal gram (Chanaako Daal) also increased by Rs 5 per kg to Rs 165.

Retailers say they have increased the prices of pulses, rice and edible oil at their stores because they are being charged more by their wholesalers. “The price of most of the foods has increased in the wholesale market,” Chandra Shrestha, proprietor of Chandra Binayak Store in Chabahil said, adding: “Wholesalers say the price of these items have gone up the international market — India.”

The price of both Pokhareli rice and Jeera Masino rice increased by Rs 2 per kg in the month. Pokhareli rice now costs Rs 67 per kg and Jeera Masino costs Rs 70 per kg. Likewise, Mansuli rice has become dearer by Rs 3 per kg to Rs 56.

The price of sunflower oil has also reached Rs 165 per liter, Rs 15 more than the price recorded some three weeks before.

Though food prices have been increasing in the retail market, Nepal Retailers Association (NRA) — the umbrella body for retail shops in the market — has no idea about it.

Pabitra Man Bajracharya, the president of NRA, says: “After receiving complaints about rising food prices in the market, I asked wholesalers and traders about it. However, they told me that there was no significant change in prices.”

Bajracharya says that food price, including that of pulses and rice, has started going up in India. Nepal depends on India for almost 50 percent of its domestic demand and fluctuation in food prices in India directly affects prices in Nepal, he says.