Process on for Lokta paper

KATHMANDU: Nepal Bureau of Standards and Measurements has forwarded the documents regarding the minimum standards requirement for handmade paper to be used in official documents.

The government had planned to use Nepali Lokta paper from the new fiscal year but procedural delay has made it impossible to implement the decision.

According to Nepal Handmade Paper Association (HANDPASS), the bureau has decided the standards regarding thickness, size, tearing strength, printability, weight and colour of the ink to be used. Lokta paper to be used in citizenship certificates should have a weight of at least 250-350 gram per square metre (GSM) while in the case of Tippani Aadesh the standard weight should at least be 30 GSM. The weight of paper may vary from 12, 50 and 60 GSM.

“We will soon be getting the documents from Nepal Bureau of Standards and Measurements and after approval from Handpass, the bureau will forward it to the government for final quotation,” said Kiran Dangol, former secretary of Nepal Handmade Paper Association (HANDPASS).

The present fiscal year budget has also given emphasis on country-wise and commodity-wise diversification based on forward, backward and parallel linkages of export trade for its sustainability.

Also, for the promotion of export through the encouragement of exportable products like tea, coffee, cardamom, lentils, cut-flowers, leather, ginger, hand-made paper, scented oil, wooden handicrafts, honey, oranges and green vegetables.

Dangol, however, said that they were still not sure how much budget allocation had been made for handmade paper.

Federation of Handicrafts Association of Nepal (FHAN) statistics states that with total contribution of 9 per cent in the total handicraft products exported during the fiscal year 2008-09, handmade paper products’ export increased by 12 per cent compared to the fiscal year 2007-08. In the year 2008-09, total handmade paper exported was worth Rs 264.55 million.

HANDPASS has already registered handmade paper as a brand in the European Union as NEPALOKTA. Countries importing Lokta paper are Switzerland, England, France, Germany, the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia. The major exportable items of Lokta paper are in the form of packaging paper, stationery items and greeting cards.