Kathmandu, Nepal, July 12, 2019: It has become a matter of shame to the government after a letter written by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu is made public on Monday requesting Nepal government not to test pesticides on the vegetable and fruits imported from India.
The letter is made public in the mean time when the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and others had denied allegations of Indian pressure on the reversal of the government’s decision over pesticide testing for imported fruits and vegetables.
While addressing a meeting of the parliamentary party of the ruling head Nepal Communist Party (NCP) on Sunday, Prime Minister Oli, who is also the co-chair of the party and president of the parliamentary party, had denied any pressure from the Indian side regarding the checking of pesticide on the vegetables and fruits imported from the India.
As almost all the lawmakers raised questions over the rollback decision of the government to test the pesticide in the imported vegetables and fruits in the border points even suspecting of Indian pressure, Prime Minister Oli had denied any pressure from the Indian side.
Not only Prime Minister Oli but also other members of his Cabinet including Minister for industry, commerce and supplies Matrika Yadav had also been denying that the government decided to backtrack on its decision to implement new checks at the border, owing to pressure from the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
However, it is already revealed that Indian Embassy in Kathmandu had dispatched a letter on June 29, just 12 days after a government decided to conduct pesticide tests on imported vegetables and fruits from India.
In the letter sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu had raised the issue of documentation that had led to the urgent imposition of non-tariff barriers halting the trade of all vegetables and fruits, resulting in huge economic losses for Indian exporters.
Following the letter, the government had decided to backtrack on its decision on July 5 citing the reason of shortage of technicians, equipment and laboratories at checkpoints.
Following the revelation of the letter, Minister Yadav professed ignorance about such correspondence. ‘I do not know about any letter from India and I haven’t seen it,’ Yadav said at a press conference on Monday.
Either the secretary would have kept secret about the letter or the MoFA has not forwarded the letter to the ministry, Minister Yadav said in the conference.
With the revelation of the letter, the government and its head NCP has felt a big jolt. It is likely that Prime Minister Oli would take action against of the concerned ministers and officials for not informing him about the letter sent by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.