Nepal | August 10, 2020

Ward chair’s hand suspected in fertiliser black marketing

Himalayan News Service
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While fertiliser crunch has affected farmers in Rautahat badly, complaints of black-marketing have also increased of late.

As per a finding, fertiliser bought in the name of Srijansil Agriculture Cooperatives Limited, Bagmati Saving and Credit Cooperatives Limited and Unnatishil Women Agriculture Cooperatives Limited of Chandrapur Municipality, was black-marketed.

Instead of obliging farmers, the cooperatives are learnt to have siphoned the fertiliser to Satyalal Sah of Bagmati Municipality-1. Sah is the operator of Rahul Food Industry in Chandrapur Municipality.

This came to light after police, acting on the complaints of farmers, arrested Sah last week.

Sah stands accused of procuring 1,652 bags of urea, 605 bags of DAP and 135 bags of potash in the name of Srijanshil Agriculture Cooperatives Limited; 1,212 bags of urea, 575 bags of DAP and 115 bags of potash in the name of Bagmati Savings and Credit Cooperatives Limited; and 2,124 bags of urea, 681 bags of DAP and 130 bags of potash in the name of Unnatishil Women Agriculture Cooperatives Limited.

He is said to have sold the fertiliser at a high price in Makawanpur and Sarlahi districts.

It’s important to note that Srijanshil cooperatives’ chairperson is Chandrapur Municipality-1 ward Chairperson Biru Rakhal. His cooperative hasn’t even conducted the general assembly of last year. He is learnt to have recommended that the Agriculture Inputs Company Limited provide subsidised fertiliser to the three cooperatives.

According to DSP Hem Bahadur Shahi of Chandrapur Area Police Office, they have started investigation after seeking a remand for the arrested businessperson under the Black Marketing Act. “Investigation is under way and we’re searching for persons involved in this black-marketing,” he said.

Meanwhile, despite the border closure between Nepal and India, every day hundreds of bags of fertiliser is being smuggled into Nepal.

Just yesterday, Armed Police Force personnel seized 150 bags of urea smuggled to Nepal through Jayanagar entry point of Paroha Municipality. The fertiliser was then handed over to Gaur Customs.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 10, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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