Rumors on salt shortage leave customers in panic

1 kg packet of salt

KATHAMNDU, Nepal-Due to the rumors on the acute shortage of salts in neighboring India, large numbers of customers have reeling under fear, forcing them to store extra but unusual amount of salts by paying big prices in the Capital Kathmandu since last two days.

Most of the Capital based shopkeepers say a flock of consumers are purchasing salts in huge quantity from Wednesday morning after the rumor that there will be shortage of this essential commodity after the second Constituent Assembly polls though the National Trading Corporation (NTC), a government agency sole responsible to supply salt in the country said the existing storage in the corporation will meet the demand for six months.

Earlier, salt per kilogram used to be traded at 15 rupees while with the shortage rumors; commoners are even ready to pay Rs.30, a tradesman told.  ‘A tremendous number of customers are buying salt within two days and gossip about its scarcity and the ongoing vehicle strike called  by poll opposing 33 parties’ anti polls alliance led by Maoist Baidhya might have forced the commoners to keep store of essential commodities’, he said adding that people have gone almost mad after reacting on the rumors.

A student Ramesh Chaudhary studying medicines in the Capital Kathmandu said he has purchased 10 kilogram of salt for him alone after the shortage fears so that he could cope with the potential problem in the days to come.

A normal family with its ten members usually consumes as much as 2 kg of salt a month, however, single customer like Chaudhary are managing more than 10 kg of salt each day, leaving artificial shortage in markets.

Likewise, salt per kilogram was sold for up to Rs 150 in some districts in terai region, according to police.

In the meantime, the corporation releasing a press statement on Saturday said presently the nation is not reeling under the salt shortage urging the people not to go on the existing baseless rumors. The Corporation has also directed the traders and suppliers to sale salt at its normal price warning that it will take action against any trader found to be resorting to black market.

The rumors coupled with the strikes have now been the major talk of town in the recent days in the country.

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