Grocery store sealed for selling fertiliser illegallyThe shop owner was charging Rs 2,000 for a sack of fertiliser which normally costs Rs 785.
The local administration has sealed a grocery store at Arun Rural Municipality-6, Bhorlabot on the charge of selling chemical fertiliser illegally.
Authorities were responding to complaints that shop owner Bhadraman Bhujel was selling soil nourishers to farmers at double the market price. The store was charging Rs2,000 for a sack of fertiliser which normally costs Rs785.
The 47 sacks of urea fertiliser found at Bhujel's store were sealed, but it was not known where he had obtained them.
Chief District Officer Basanta Raj Puri said that an investigation committee had been formed to find out where the fertiliser came from, and who were involved in the procurement. The panel will submit a report within seven days.
The members of the investigation committee are Pandab Rajbansi, inspector at the District Police Office, Bhojpur, and Anish Subedi, officer at the Agriculture Extension Office under the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Bhojpur, said Krishna Prasad Basnet, assistant chief of the District Administration Office, Bhojpur.
Shop owner Bhujel, who is an employee at the District Post Office, said he bought the fertiliser at Rs1,800 per sack out of a truck that had broken down.
The truck carrying the fertiliser was immobilised after suffering engine problem, Bhujel said, and the driver wanted to offload his cargo.
Bhujel said he asked the driver if he was transporting food items, and found that it was delivering a shipment of fertiliser which he bought and stored in his shop.
Bhujel admitted that he sold the fertiliser at Rs2,000 per sack after purchasing it at Rs1,800 per sack. The truck driver returned after selling the fertiliser, Bhujel said, and he did not know where it had come from.
An informal discussion is reportedly being held about the impounded fertiliser with chairperson of the rural municipality Gajendra Bahadur Karki, vice-chairperson Binita Dhakal, Charambi ward chairperson Gyanendra Dahal and chief administrative officer Yadav Prasad Sapkota.
Dhakal said that it was decided to sell the fertiliser at Rs1,000 per sack to farmers who needed it. But the goods have been left untouched pending further investigation.
Fertiliser is in short supply as it is the growing season, and since the stock at the store has been confiscated, other sources will be explored, Dahal said.
Arun rural municipality has given a contract to HP Suppliers to purchase agro-chemical fertiliser for the municipality. As per the deal, 1,395 sacks of DAP and 2,605 bags of urea fertiliser will be distributed. DAP will be sold at the rate of Rs50 per kg.
Nirmala Sherpa, proprietor of the firm, said that DAP fertiliser would be brought according to the quota for the municipality.
According to him, the 520 sacks of urea fertiliser provided by Salt Trading have already been delivered to farmers. The rest of the shipment has not arrived, he said.
Representatives of Salt Trading said that they were having a hard time transporting the fertiliser as a quarantine ward had been set up near their warehouse.
Sherpa said that black marketing in the midst of the lockdown had made it difficult for genuine traders.