Biratnagar, April 1:

Thousands of metric tonnes of vanaspati ghee, which could not be exported to India after daily work at Biratnagar custom point (BCO) came to a halt for almost two months due to the Terai unrest, is on the verge of going waste now that the time limit given by the Indian government for its supply is going to expire on March 5.

According to the quota fixed by the Indian government, 16 vanaspati ghee industries situated in different parts of the country can export upto 100,000 metric tonnes of vanaspati ghee to India every year.

However, the BCO was disrupted time and again due to the Terai agitation launched by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum from January 16. Owing to this, ghee entrepreneurs could not export ghee by the stipulated time.

Six ghee industries operating in the eastern region can export upto 35,000 metric tonnes of vanaspati ghee to India while rest of the quota amount is for vanaspati ghee industries situated in Hetauda and Birgunj.

Ghee industries situated in eastern Nepal namely Shreeram, Pashupati Edible Oil, Swastik, Baba, Arun Vanaspati, Manakamana and Duggad ghee industry have not been able to export over 6,000 metric tonnes of vanaspati ghee as per the quota to India. The proprietor of Pashupati Edible Oil Nandu Rathi said that thousands of tonnes of vanaspati ghee of the quota could not be exported to India because of the unrest in Terai.

He added that ghee entrepreneurs have been hit hard, as vanaspati ghee produced for India cannot be marketed in Nepal. He also urged the Indian government to provide fresh quota for the export of vanaspati ghee.

All six ghee industries were exporting ghee worth of over six billion rupees to India via the Biratnagar custom point. However, for the past two months not even a kg of vanaspati ghee has been exported to India.

The Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industries and Nepal Vanaspati Producers’ Association have been helping entrepreneurs in exporting vanaspati ghee to 23 states in India.