Private sector to meet UP chief minister over herb export row
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, July 18: A delegation from Nepali private sector is meeting Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in a bid to discuss issues related to trade and transit between the two countries including the trade of medicinal herbs that has come to grinding halt since the last three months from the Nepalgunj customs.
“The meeting will focus mainly on connectivity and quarantine,” Bhawani Rana, vice president of Federation of Nepali Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) told Republica on Tuesday.
“However, we will raise the acts of state-government of UP which has prevented export of herbs from Nepalgunj customs since three months against the spirit of bilateral trade treaty.”
The medicinal herbs worth around Rs 350 million has been stuck in the Nepalgunj customs after UP introduced a new law contravening the bilateral trade treaty between the two countries.
According to Rana, who will lead the team, the meeting is aimed at resolving the problems Nepali exporters face in different areas of border between Nepal and India. “We will also raise the issues created by different laws of state-government of UP,” Rana said.
For instance, export of medicinal herbs is at a standstill following the UP government´s introduction of new law compelling exporters to get license from Department of Forest (DoF) of state government to export medicinal herbs.
Such a provision was introduced against the spirit of bilateral trade treaty between Nepal and India that ensures free movement of all goods of Indian or Nepali origin in each other´s territory, without subjecting them to any quantitative restrictions, licensing or permit systems.
The export has not resumed even after the exporters knock the door of the India embassy in Kathmandu. Embassy officials had said that the export would resumed by Monday after the exporters appealed for facilitation last week. According to Thapa, 7,000 to 7,500 tons of medicinal herbs are exported from the Nepalgunj customs point to India.