KATHMANDU, July 10: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the government's recent decision to put on hold its previous decision to carry out pesticide testing for vegetables and fruits imported from India.
A single bench of Justice Anandamohan Bhattarai issued the ruling ordering the government not to backtrack on its previous decision to conduct pesticide residue tests on vegetables and fruits imported from India.
On July 4, the government had decided to put on hold on the decision it made on June 17 to conduct test of vegetables and fruits at the custom points to ascertain levels of pesticide residue.
The decision came amid mounting pressure from the Indian authorities. However, the decision courted controversy from multiple quarters including lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties.
In a note verbale to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of India in Kathmandu urged the former to lift the testing requirement after Indian trucks bringing vegetables and fruits were stuck at the border for days. Referring to the provisions of the WTO and bilateral trade deals between India and Nepal, the Indian officials urged the Nepal government to resume the entry of Indian goods on the basis of phytosanitrary certificates issued by designated authorities on both sides.
On June 17, the Nepal government had instructed its border authorities to test for the level of pesticide before allowing in Indian vegetables and fruits. Following the instructions, hundreds of trucks have been stuck at various border points.