By Our Reporter
Businessmen of Nepal have again exhibited their profit-oriented nature by hiking the prices of essential commodities by citing the budget.
Although the budget comes into effect only from July 17, the scrupulous businessmen, shopkeepers and middlemen have increased the prices of food and other items one and half months before the new fiscal year begins. This speaks of the fact that how the businessmen resort to any measure to make the fast buck.
Moreover, the government has taken no step to control the unreasonable price hike and punish the businessmen.
Interestingly, the businessmen have increased the prices of the items like rice and vegetables in which the government has not imposed any additional taxes.
The businessmen who are not happy with the government decision not to refund them the VAT money have increased the prices of oil and pulses promoting their black-marketing in the markets. The government had scrapped the provision of returning the VAT money to the businessmen after finding that the businessmen had kept VAT money with them.
Similarly, the businessmen have cited the increase in the tax on the raw materials as reason for increasing the prices. The government has increased the tax on mustard seeds from 1 per cent to 5 per cent and on pulse from 5 per cent to 10 per cent to promote domestic product. But the businessmen have revolted the decision by increasing the prices of the goods which have been in their stocks. But they have increased Rs. 17 in a litre of edible oil, Rs. 100 in each sack of rice, Rs. 10 each in a kg of pulse and sugar.
Likewise, they have increased the prices of green vegetables by 6 to 47 per cent. The highest price has been increased in green pumpkin from Rs. 19 to Rs. 48. It is the season of the green pumpkins, but the businessmen and middlemen have increased their prices unnaturally.
Every year, the businessmen in Nepal tend to increase the prices after the Budget speech, and mostly they used to take pay hike of the employees as a reason for that. But this year, the government has not increased pay of the employees. Yet they increased the prices. This is all because the businessmen do not fear the law and the government. If the government does not take any measure to punish the businessmen for increasing the artificial prices, they will continue to cheat the poor consumers.