Government sets maximum retail price of bottled waterThe new price will come into effect from August 26 in three districts of Kathmandu valley including Kavrepalanchok.
The Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection Management on Monday fixed the maximum retail price of bottled and jar water following complaints that retailers have been charging high prices.
The maximum retail price of a 1-litre bottle of water has been set at Rs16, while a processed jar of water is now priced at Rs50 per jar. Previously, a 1-litre bottle of water and a jar of processed water used to retail for Rs20 and Rs70 respectively.
The new price will come into effect from August 26 in three districts of Kathmandu valley including Kavrepalanchok. The new price will not be implemented in processed water produced for export and processed water that is specially sealed.
Sagar Mishra, director at the department, said that the new price adjustment is being implemented as a trial phase in selected places. The new price adjustment will follow in other parts of the country after negotiating with the province and local level governments along with the Nepal Bottled Water Industries Association at the provincial level.
“The new price was adjusted based on factory expenses, administrative expenses, price of a bottle, lid and labelling and bank interest,” Mishra told the Post.
Meanwhile, the department has asked bottled water industries to furnish clarification on why a litre of bottled water costs Rs20 in shops. Mishra said that the cost of producing a litre of water is Rs11 and if Rs5 is allocated to the distributor and retailers as a profit margin, it still adds up to only Rs16.
According to the association, around 550 water bottling plants are operating in the country, with 150 plants based in the Kathmandu valley alone.
Subas Bhandari, president of the association said that 75 percent of drinking water is being supplied by private water bottling plants.
The association said that Rs10 billion has been invested in Nepal’s water bottling industry and provides direct employment to nearly 26,000 people. “The water bottling industry has been growing by 10 percent annually due to an increasing population,” said Bhandari.
The title of this article has been changed to reflect the content of the article.