KATHMANDU, Oct 4: An Indian company with foreign direct investment has been found in trading activities, which is listed as negative by the law for foreign investors.
Tractors Nepal Private Limited (TNPL), a foreign investment company for workshop services of heavy equipments, registered in 2000, has been found in importing heavy equipment of Caterpillar, a Japanese brand, and reselling in Kathmandu and several other cities across the country.
The company was permitted only 'for services' according to the permission letter issued to the company on January 26, 2001, by the Department of Industry. The company is only allowed to import spare parts for the purpose of carrying out services of the heavy equipment.
An excerpt of the permission document to the company to run its workshop for heavy equipment says: "TNPL can regularly import spare parts, and sell such parts for service and repair requirements of the end user. These spare parts can be imported by paying customs duty."
The workshop can import machines, equipment, jigs, fixtures, testing equipment, and diagnostic equipment through banking channel, according to the document.
Terms of conditions that the service industry has to comply also states that 'the industry won't be allowed to be engaged in any kind of trading'.
A recent preliminary investigation in this matter carried out by Department of Industry has also found that the company is not allowed to import and sell anything. But website of the company, www.tractorsnepal.com, says that it sells products of heavy equipment: backhoe loader, wheel loader, skid steer loader, track type tractor, hydraulic excavator, motor grader, off-highway truck, and different kinds of generator sets.
Director of the Department of Industry Prashant Bohora said that it is not allowed to do any trading business being a workshop. The company is running its service centers in Pokhara, Itahari, Butwal, Kathmandu, Dhangadhi, and Birtamod though it is only allowed to operate such workshop service center in Kathmandu.
Its service centers across the country are also established without additional permission from the Department of Industry.
Country Manager of Tractors Nepal Pvt Ltd Subharjun Shah informed that he is not allowed to talk to media. Company's promoters are Sumit Majumdar, Aditya Benergi, Beljit Walia, and Alok Benergi.
The company's parent company is Tractors India Limited based in Kolkota. Authorized distributor of Caterpillar heavy equipment for Nepal is Batas Organization, according to NADA Automobiles Association of Nepal.