Nepali traders face hassles in ginger export to India once again

Kathmandu, January 24

Traders exporting Nepali ginger to India are once again facing hassles after the Indian customs refused to provide entry permit to Nepali trucks loaded with the commodity.

Narendra Khadka, chairman of Nepal Ginger Producers Association, informed that dozens of India-bound Nepali trucks loaded with ginger are stuck at the Nepal-India border after Indian customs offices restricted these trucks from entering the Indian market citing direction to this effect from the Indian government.

“Nepali farmers have been adversely affected as ginger export to India has been halted time and again in recent times. However, the government has not been addressing the export hassles in a timely manner,” said Khadka.

Moreover, Khadka claimed that such repeated obstructions in export of ginger to India are against the trade treaty with the southern neighbour, which envisions hassle-free cross-border trade between the two countries.

Earlier in October too, Indian Quarantine at Panitanki had restricted export of fresh ginger to India stating that the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) no longer allowed import of ginger in raw form since the implementation of goods and services tax (GST). However, the export resumed few weeks later following diplomatic talks between the two governments.

Officials at the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) stated that the recent hassles in export of ginger to India has come after the Indian customs offices sought import licences from Indian traders to import Nepali ginger.

“The hassle in exporting ginger is mainly due to Nepali farmers randomly exporting the plant via Indian middlemen who have not obtained import licences from the Indian government. Though Indian customs was flexible on this issue, it has recently started seeking import licence from Indian traders, which has affected export of ginger from Nepal,” said Ravi Shankar Sainju, spokesperson for MoC.

According to him, Nepali farmers should export ginger to Indian market via Indian traders that have acquired import licence so the problem can be solved permanently.

However, Sainju informed that MoC has urged the Indian Embassy in Nepal to facilitate the issue and help resume ginger export to India.

“The Indian embassy has said that it will take up the matter with the concerned authorities in India soon,” added Sainju.

Meanwhile, Sainju said that the government will seek permanent solution for hassle-free ginger export in the Nepal-India Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) meeting, which is scheduled for later this year.