Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM) on Thursday said there was sufficient food stock for 14 districts highly affected by the earthquake for the monsoon season.
DoCSM Director General Shambhu Koirala said the traders, during a meeting, have assured they have rice stock enough for the next 3-4 months. “The traders said low demand could help maintain sufficient stock,” he said.
The government as well as social organisations have been distributing daily essentials to earthquake victims. A large number of households have reportedly stocked sufficient essentials fearing a possible shortage. “Therefore, the demand has dropped at present, which could help ease supply during the monsoon ,” said Koirala.
Various social organisations as well as foreign governments are offering rice, which is being distributed in quake-affected districts like Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Kathmandu.
The government has received 10,000 tonnes of rice from Bangladesh, while it has also been receiving support from India, the World Food Programme as well as private sector organisations. In addition, the government has distributed 4,000 tonnes from the buffer-stock of the Nepal Food Corporation.
Koirala said the government would have 33,000 tonnes in buffer-stock for the rainy season. “Apart from the stock with the traders, the buffer-stock would help in supply during the period even if there is highway blockade due to landslides,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Commerce and Supply clarified there were no irregularities in the rice provided by Bangladesh. Shambhu Ghimire, spokesperson for the ministry, said they have distributed 3,152.9 tonnes of the rice they received through Kakadvitta customs to various earthquake-hit districts.
“We have stored the remaining rice in the government’s warehouses in Chandragadhi, Jhapa, and will be distributing them as per the plan to be formulated by the joint coordination of Home Ministry and the Commerce Ministry,” Ghimire said.