KATHMANDU, April 15: The government scrapped its earlier decision to allow the import of peppercorns, peas, dates and betel nuts, following concerns from various quarters on the possible ‘policy corruptions’ by the top government officials.
Last month, the government conditionally eased the restriction on the import of peppercorns, peas, dates and betel nuts. The government had completely banned the imports of these four goods since March 2020.
Through publishing a notice in Nepal Gazette dated March 22, the government halted the quota provision on the import of these items. In addition, the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection issued a public notice on Thursday.
A cabinet meeting of March 9 decided to allow the import of these items through imposing quota restrictions. In the new provision, traders had been allowed to import 15,000 tons each of betel nut and pepper and 5,000 tons of dates annually. However, the government has revoked its own decision just in the next few weeks after the new rule drew public criticism.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Lekhnath Bhatta and Special Economic Advisor to Prime Minister KP Oli, Motilal Dugad were dragged into controversies. The duo was blamed for revising the law just to benefit a handful of traders, to fulfill their vested interests. After the issue came to limelight, the parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee started an investigation into the matter.