Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) today clarified that it will issue certificate of origin to exporters recommended by only two organisations of betel nut producers.

The Certificates of Origin has not been extended on recommendation of seven newly registered umbrella organisations of Jhapa and Morang in eastern part of the country, FNCCI president Pradeep Jung Pandey said, here today.

The dispute started after FNCCI has been charged of protecting associations that are engaged in trafficking of betel nuts.

The FNCCI also clarified that the certificate would be issued only to exporters recommended by Nepal Supari Kheti Bikas Sanstha of Jhapa and Uttari Morang Supari Kheti Bikas Sanstha. “Seven other new associations have also asked us to recognise their recommendations, but we have not entertained their calls,” he added.
Certificates of Origin are issued to prove that the product is home grown or manufactured in the country. It also ensures export incentives by the government.

Though betel nuts is one of the exportable products, many import them from third countries and smuggle to India claiming they were grown in Nepal.

Meanwhile, production of betel nuts has also grown in the last four years in Jhapa and Morang districts. In the fiscal year 2012-13, the production stood at 8,914 tonnes in Jhapa and 2,041 tonnes in Morang. The production a fiscal year ago stood at 7,634 tonnes in Jhapa and 1,326 tonnes in Morang.

Betel nuts is also promoted in Jhapa under ‘one village one product (OVOP)’ programme of FNCCI since last two years.

The third country import and export to India increased in recent years aldo due to India’s zero tariff facility in betel nuts. The gap in price in import of betel nuts in India from Nepal and other third countries has lured some traders into the smuggling of betel nut.

“We should also be conscious of news betel nuts that are being re-exported to India by importing them from third countries instead of exporting local products,” Pandey said.

The umbrella oragnisation of the private sector has recommended the government to allow export quota of 9,717 tonnes and 2,854 tonnes to Nepal Supari Kheti and Uttari Morang Supari Kheti, respectively, for the current fiscal year 2014-15.

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