India bans herb import from Nepal

- Post Report, BANKE

Apr 18, 2019-

For the past month, India has been strictly enforcing its prohibition of the importing of medicinal herbs from Nepalgunj into its borders, and this has severely affected local businesses.

The businessmen say the Indian government has stopped the import stating that the Nepal government could not verify the scientific names of the herbs, which is a must according to Indian policy.

The prohibition came into place after the Indian government implemented a new quarantine policy recently.

Indian authorities said that Nepali authorities could not specify the species of the medicinal herbs within the time frame stipulated by the Indian government. The Indian government had given its Nepali counterpart six months to determine the species of the medicinal herbs.

Thaman Bahadur Karki, chief at the Nepalgunj Plant Quarantine, said that they do not have the scientific names of the herbs. He said, “There’s demand for various herbs in accordance to the type of species, but we don’t have their proper scientific names.”  

It has been estimated that around 10,000 metric tons of medicinal herbs are stuck in godowns across the country. Tanka Prasad Sharma, a businessman, said that herbs will lose its medicinal properties if they are stored for extended periods. “We stand to lose millions this year due to this new regulation,” he said.

Pasanbed, Kurilo, Amala, Padamchal, Chiraito, Amalbed, Atis, Kaladana and Sikakai, among other medicinal herbs, are being stored in godowns since December 2018. Yakub Ansari, a lawmaker of Province 5, said, “Our businesses have been halted for the last month.”

Ansari said that the overall herb industry and its farmers have been gravely affected because of the import halt. Around 2.4 million farmers of the hills and the mountains rely on running herbal businesses and growing medicinal herbs. Karki said that India used to import more than 100 types of medicinal herbs from Nepal in the past. The Association submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel in Nepalgunj on Tuesday.

Published: 18-04-2019 11:14

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