KHOTANG, July 27

Contractors have been swindling farmers in the sale of chemical fertilisers in the western part of Khotang.

In addition to the government rate of Rs 938, contractors have been charging additional Rs 162 for a sack of 50 kg urea.

Chatur Rai from Durchhim VDC said that Makar Rai, authorised seller of chemical manure at the local level, had charged him Rs 1,100 for a sack of 50 kg urea.

Makar was authorised by main contractor Upin Rai of Diktel to sell the fertiliser at Durchhim, Badahare, Chyasmitar, Bahunidanda, and Dikuwa VDCs. Farmers said that Upin was selling the fertiliser at Rs 950 per sack in Haleshi.

Upin has been cheating farmers of Rs 12 per sack. Makar said that he had charged the extra amount  to cover transport expenses. He, however, refuted the allegation and said that he had not charged more than the set price. “I charge Rs 938 for each sack of 50 kg urea. I don’t know about others,” said Upin.

Shivananda Mishra, Chief of Area Agriculture Service Centre Haleshi, said that despite his request, the contractors had continued to charge additional amount. Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal district Chairman Jivan Kumar Shrestha demanded action against contractors involved in cheating farmers. Stating that they had cut the transport charge after long efforts, Shrestha sought action against unscrupulous contractors.

Shyam Prasad Rijal, agriculture development officer, said sellers were not allowed to charge even one rupee more than the set price. “Agro office has funded transport of fertiliser to distribution centres. Thus, action has to be taken against contractors,” he said. Haleshi distribution centre has sold 55 metric tonnes of fertiliser this year.