India takes exception to testing of Indian fruits and vegetables at border

India has taken exception to testing of Indian fruits and vegetables for pesticides at the border.
Writing a letter to top government officials the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu has expressed concern at the checking. “We have put our views meeting top Nepal government officials and also in writing,” Indian Embassy Spokesperson Abhishek Dubey told Setopati.
India has problem on two aspects about the inspection. The first is vegetables and fruits rot due to the time taken for tests as Nepal lacks adequate equipment and human resources at the border points. The second is regarding reciprocity and it feels Nepal should not check Indian products for pesticides when India does not do so for Nepali fruits and vegetables imported by India.
The government has yet to reply to India about the tests will be continued or not. “We are holding discussions with the finance and agriculture ministries about the matter. But no decision has been taken yet,” Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Shobhakant Paudel said. He, however, claimed ignorance about the letter sent by the Indian Embassy.
Speaking in a program on Wednesday Finance Secretary Rajan Khanal had said the government is looking at the stopping of fresh vegetables at the border. He had stated that the problem was due to lack of coordination among government bodies, and assured that it will be resolved by Thursday.
The government had started testing Indian fruits and vegetables for pesticides from the third week of June. But the move started to ensure import of quality foods has created problems during implementation.
Vegetables and fruits can be currently tested for pesticides only at Kalimati and Hariwan of Sarlahi. Importers, therefore, have to bring the samples to Kathmandu to get clearance in lack of laboratories at the border points.
India complains that vegetables and fruits rot due to the time taken for tests.
Around 40 percent of the fruits and vegetables currently coming to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market come from India.



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