Laxmi Capital News
Indian customs officials obstruct Nepali tea exports Industrialists

Eleven trucks carrying tea mean for export have beenstopped at Indian customs point of Panitanki. Industrialists say that Indiancustoms officials are refusing to allow Nepali tea to enter India before itssamples are tested in lab.

Industrialists were sending the consignments to overseascountry via India.

As it has already been a week since the consignment oftea was stopped at the customs point, industrialists fear that the tea will getdamaged before it reaches the intended destination.

“We are staring at a huge loss. With the containers stuckat the customs point, we have to pay additional demurrage charge to thetransporter,” UdayaChapagain, who runs Gorkha Tea Estate at SuryodayaMunicipality, told Republica. “The Indian customs officials are determined notto allow trucks into their territory unless lab test of samples is conducted.They have sent the samples to Kolkata.”

“Earlier, they used to allow Nepali tea meant forthird-country destinations into its territory for six months once lab tests areconducted. Now, they seem to have put in place a lengthy process to preventcontainers from entering India until lab test report arrives,” added Chapagain.“And they are collecting samples from each truck.”

India has repeatedly hindered export of cash crops likeginger and cardamom in the past. However, tea exports had not faced suchproblem so far.

Tea industrialists are disappointed by India's move toobstruct the flow of Nepali tea into overseas destinations at a time when thedemand for tea with Nepali trademark has surged in the international market.

“Such disturbance in movement of Nepal's third-countryexports in Indian territory has left tea industrialists worried,” Kamal Mainaliof Himalayan Shangri-La Tea Producers Pvt Ltd, said. “Although we were informedthat trucks will be allowed to enter India from Tuesday, it didn't happen,” headded.

Mainali also said he had heard that Indian customsofficials were preparing to give a 12-day window for Nepali tea exporters.“However, it will not be of any help. We want a long-term solution to theproblem,” he added.

Although the potential of Nepali tea in the internationalmarket is high, entrepreneurs are fed up by the India tendency of causingobstruction at the customs point time and again.

India is a major market for tea produced in India. Teaexported to other countries is also transported via India. Obstruction by Indiais sure to deteriorate international market of Nepali tea.
According to Chapagain, Commerce Secretary Chandra Dhakal has already beeninformed about the obstruction. He has told us that efforts are made to easeexports of tea, he added.

Source : My Republica, 9th May 2018


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