Ginger export from eastern Nepal affected yet again

Published On: July 15, 2017 12:11 PM NPT By: Rohit Rai

DHARAN, July 14:Export of ginger to India from eastern parts of the country remained halted for nearly two weeks.

Customs officials of India have stopped ginger exports since July 1 when the southern neighbor entered into a new tax regime by introducing Goods and Services Tax (GST). But experts say GST is not applicable on ginger imports.

Local traders say that they have no idea what they export has been halted all of a sudden. Because of the decision of the Indian customs officials, ginger ready for exports is decaying in the warehouse of traders. Traders fear they would have to suffer huge loss if the issue is not sorted out at the earliest.

Only around 20 percent of ginger produced in hilly districts of Koshi Zone has come to the market. Remaining 80 percent is yet to be harvested. About a dozen trucks, each carrying 15 tons of ginger, are stuck in local farm market in Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City-13. 

“Ginger loaded in around 12 trucks is ready for exports to India. The produce will start rotting if the issue is not sorted out anytime soon,” Hari Karki, a ginger trader of Dharan, told Republica.

Laxman Bhattarai, market manager of agro products, say farmers will be at the receiving end. “Traders can choose to remain idle by not buying ginger from farmers. But farmers will lose their crop,” added Bhattarai. “We have only received information that export got interrupted because of the introduction of GST in India.”

Local farmers and traders have formally informed the Agribusiness Promotion and Market Development Directorate about the problem. They have also informed the Ministry of Agricultural Development of the problem.

Kaji Giri, chairman of the local market management committee, say they still do not the reason behind halt in ginger exports. “Indian traders have refused to purchase Nepali ginger, stating that they have not still got license from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), India,” he added.

The Dharan-13 based farm market alone handled 8,000 tons of ginger in Fiscal Year 2015/16. About 90 percent of it is estimated to have been exported to India. The market was expecting to handle 10,000 tons of ginger in the current fiscal year.

Spokesperson of the Department of Customs, Kularaj Gyawali, informed that GST should not be an issue in ginger export as India has not levied any tax on ginger exports. 

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