The Government of Nepal has taken necessary measures to ensure fairness in the domestic market ahead of the Tihar festival that is falling on October 19-21, 2017.
Tihar is the second most important festival of the Nepal’s biggest festival season, after Dashain.
With the festival fast approaching, the government officials have already begun strict market monitoring activity to see that there is no malpractice in case of food items sold in the market.
The Department of Supplies Management (DoSM) and the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) have already begun making special inspections in the market.
These departments have been sending across market monitoring teams to check adulteration in the Kathmandu Valley and across other parts of the country.
“We have focused mainly on shops selling ghee, sweets, cooking oil, apparels and footwear,” says DoSM Director General Kumar Prasad Dahal.
As part of their inspection rounds, the officials have so far destroyed a large quantity of food items and sweets that were found with expiry date.
On account of Tihar and Chhath festivals, the sales demand for earthenware products such as diyos (butter lamps) and jars made of clay and ceramic is on rise in the villages of Mahottari District.
The demand for these products has resulted in creation of a specific market that sells only these clay and ceramic products.
“More than 20 new such shops have sprouted in the major junction and local market of Bardibas,” says Bhawanath Khatiwada, General Secretary of Bardibas Trade Association.
This appears as a good opportunity for the communities that hold expertise in making such natural products.
The sale and purchase of earthenware in Mahottari bazaar, during the Tihar and Chhath festivals alone, makes up business worth Rs 2.5 million, says the Mahottari Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Owing to the rise in demand for flowers such as marigold, globe amaranth and chrysanthemum during Tihar, the flower market usually demands on imports to meet the domestic demand.
However, it’s not the case for this Tihar.
“Last year, we had met around 40 percent of demand for marigold during Tihar festival through imports. This year, import of marigold is expected to come down to almost 20 percent of the demand,” says Dilip Bade, senior vice president of Floriculture Association of Nepal (FAN).
Bade was confident about sufficient supply of such flowers during the festival. “We have already achieved self-sufficiency in chrysanthemum and globe amaranth,” he added.
The demand for dry fruits is usually at peaks during Tihar festival, as the Nepali Hindu women offer these delicious items to their brothers during the Bhai Tika festival.
Owing to the demand and to finish off the existing stock, not even an artificial price hike is expected in the market in terms of dry fruits sales.
“If dry fruits remain unsold, they will remain in stock of traders for a year. That is why I don’t think there will be artificial price hike. Customers will not have to pay more for dry fruits for the Bhai Tika festival,” says Devendra Bhakta Shrestha, Secretary, Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC).