Govt lifts seal from Nimbus Group’s Probiotech Industries

Published On: September 16, 2018 07:02 AM NPT By: Ritesh Tripathi

BIRGUNJ, Sept 16: The government removed the seal from the plant of Nimbus Group's Probiotech Industries Pvt Ltd, on Friday. The Birgunj-based plant was sealed by the government following an inspection by a team led by Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Yadav.

On August 8, the team led by Yadav had visited the industry and collected samples of raw oil from the plant. 

The industry was then sealed by a joint team of District Administration Office Parsa and Office of Standards and Metrology on August 23, citing the 'order from higher authority'. 

When the authorities removed the seal on Friday, they did not give any details about why the industry was sealed in the first place and why it was removed.

The government's 'arbitrary' decision to seal the industry has raised concern of the private sector, which believes that the ministry responsible for formulating industrial policy and rules was unnecessarily targeting to trouble industries.

"Those who enforce law and policy should comply with it in the first place, which did not happen in the case of Nimbus. Now the seal has been removed because there was no wrongdoing," said a representative of the Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "Who is going to compensate the damages that the government's sealing has caused to the reputation and market of the industry?" the representative questioned. 

Om Prakash Baitha, Administrative Officer of the DAO Parsa, said that the seal was lifted on Friday after the Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest wrote it a letter, stating that nothing wrong was found in the sample. "They resolved the doubts by testing the sample," said Baitha. "And the industry was unlocked. We have understood this case in this way," he added. 

The industry group has moved to court claiming that the sample collection and the monitoring from the minister were carried out without following a due process. 

“On what basis the sealing was carried out?” the Nimbus Group had asked while filing an application at the DAO Parsa on August 28, seeking the 'lab test report' of the Department of Standards and Metrology. However, the group moved to the court after the DAO reportedly declined to provide the report as sought by Probiotech Industries Pvt Ltd. 

On September 7, the industry filed a writ at the Supreme Court against the ministry, DAO Parsa and Department of Standards and Metrology Office Parsa. The apex court issued a show cause notice on September 13 giving a deadline of Thursday.

At a time when dissatisfaction against the government is brewing, the ministry then tried to cover up the case, according to sources. Department official Dipak Raj Pokharel had invited Nimbus Group for discussion over the matter after the government was summoned by the apex court. 

Government officials had reportedly asked the Nimbus Group to withdraw the case. Following the request from government officials, the group had agreed to withdraw the case while the ministry also lifted the seal from the industry. After group withdrew the case on Thursday, the department office sent a letter to the DAO Parsa instructing it to lift the seal. 

“The industry has withdrawn the case against the minister,” said Loknath Poudyal, Chief District Officer of Parsa. “We got instruction from the higher level and lifted the seal,” he added. 

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