Dairy cooperative shuts down, locals lose Rs 1 mil

BARA: Seti Devi Dairy Cooperative in Jitpur Simara Sub-Metropolitan City-18 has ceased operations incurring losses amounting to Rs 1 million in shares of local shareholders after alleged mismanagement by operators.

According to Ward Chair, Arjun Prasad Dahal, apart from ripping off shareholders, the cooperative has not cleared rents and utility payments yet.

A house owner who rented space for milk storage and cooling machine is yet to be paid and electricity charges are not cleared by the cooperative, he added.

It has been learnt that the cooperative under the management of local Chiranjeevi Dhungana who did not keep accounting books and ripped off Rs 1 million in shares of 150 locals, was shut after it failed to make timely payments to suppliers.

Dhungana was reluctant to pay the farmers supplying milk, however, after much pressure from locals he was forced to clear off debts, Dahal said.

On the other hand, although discussions were held to revive the cooperative, shareholders turned a blind eye to the proposal, Dahal added.

The cooperative had come into operation in 2005 under initiative and grant from ECARDS, Nepal. The downfall of the organisation began after ECARDS handed over the management to locals.

Because of mismanagement and embezzlement by employees and operators, the dairy struggled to make timely payments to local farmers who stopped selling milk citing low prices and irregular payments.

At present, the local farmers are bound to travel and sell milk elsewhere.