Indian customs releases trucks carrying Nepali tea, halted across Kakarbhitta

Published On: April 24, 2024 09:15 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

BIRATNAGAR, April 24: The Indian customs released the trucks carrying Nepali tea on Tuesday night. The cargo trucks had been halted in Panitanki at the Kakarbhitta customs for quality testing.

On Tuesday night, Indian Customs suddenly cleared all 28 trucks, stating that an immediate quality test report was not required. The trucks had been stopped since Friday, with Indian Customs initially insisting that the tea's quality be tested at a laboratory in Kolkata.

Sources said that after Nepal's Ambassador to India, Shankar Sharma, met with India's Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Piyush Goyal, and requested not to block Nepali tea exports, India lifted the obstruction. Additionally, Ishwar Raj Paudel, the Nepali Consul General in Kolkata, played a role in removing the Indian barrier.

Meanwhile, the representatives of the tea industry, led by former Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal, met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha on Tuesday. They submitted a memorandum requesting action to resolve the Indian obstruction in Panitanki.

In a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Tea Board of India and Indian Customs officials agreed not to block Nepali tea exports for the time being.

According to industrialists, the trucks were released by verbal orders and not by any written instructions or circulars from the Indian side. Border crossings have been sealed from Wednesday to Friday due to the Indian Lok Sabha elections. Customs offices on both sides are closed on Saturdays.

Industrialists said that the trucks were released based on verbal orders, as there were no written instructions or circulars from the Indian side.


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