Anti-corruption body sues 10 persons for supplying substandard fertiliserCases have been filed at a time when the country is facing an acute shortage of chemical fertilisers.
The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority on Sunday filed a corruption case at the Special Court against 10 individuals including four senior officials of the state-owned Krishi Samagri Company Limited on the charge of supplying substandard diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertiliser.
They have been charged with committing corruption amounting to Rs1,005,322,406.72. Managing Director Netra Bahadur Bhandari, Manager Bishnu Prasad Pokharel, Assistant Manager Durga Prasad Pandey and deputy manager Pushkar Deep Budha of the state-owned company have been named as defendants in the case, the anti-graft body said in a press statement.
Along with the filing of the case, they have been suspended from their jobs until the court verdict as per the Corruption Prevention Act 2002.
They have been charged with selecting a company without competitive bidding for testing the quality of the fertiliser and paying 90 percent of the value of the fertiliser to the supplier.
According to the commission, on the company’s instruction, lab technicians issued good quality certification to the substandard fertiliser, and a payment of Rs1,005,322,406.72 or 90 percent of the supply value, was made to the supplier.
Five individuals representing the Nepal Environmental and Scientific Services (P) Ltd, which had conducted quality tests of the fertiliser, have also been made defendants in the case. They include Salil Devkota, managing director of the firm; Sunil Babu Khatri, lab director; Mahendra Kumar Daga, senior surveyor; Bholanath Chaudhary, lab consultant; and Manoj Acharya, who signed the lab service deal on behalf of Nepal Environmental. According to the commission, Nepal Environmental was not on the list of the firms shortlisted by the Krishi Samagri Company for conducting quality tests.
Likewise, Binit Joshi, executive director of Joshi Biz House, the supplier of the fertiliser, has also been named as a defendant.
According to the anti-graft body, the supplied DAP had moisture of 12.4 percent against the maximum allowed 1.5 percent and it contained 14.2 percent total Nitrogen against the minimum requirement of 18 percent.
Likewise, the presence of ammoniacal nitrogen in the fertiliser was 13.6 percent against the minimum required 17 percent, while the phosphorus content was 45.1 percent against the minimum required 46 percent. The fertiliser also contained just 33.1 percent water soluble phosphates against the minimum requirement of 41 percent. The commission said it filed the case after testing the fertiliser at the lab of Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology, which confirmed the fertiliser was substandard.
The crackdown by the commission comes at a time when the country is facing an acute shortage of chemical fertilisers which could badly hit the production of winter crops.