KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 6
The meeting of the Agriculture Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) held today has decided to cancel the contract with the two companies that AICL had awarded a tender to import fertilisers. As the companies failed to import the fertilisers on time, AICL has decided to cancel their contracts and also seize the money they had deposited as collateral.
AICL had signed an agreement with Shailung Enterprises and Hobiko Multiple, on April 24 and 27, respectively with a target of importing fertilisers by May 12. As per the agreement, the first shipment was supposed to have arrived within 42 days from the date the agreement was signed and the second shipment within 72 days from the day the agreement was inked.
However, as they failed to bring fertilisers on time AICL extended the deadline by 25 days on the request of the contractor companies. “The extended deadline terminated on Saturday but both the companies have not provided any update regarding shipment nor submitted any documents. Thus, AICL has decided to cancel the contracts and claim compensation,” said Netra Bahadur Bhandari, managing director of AICL. He also said that both the companies will be blacklisted.
Meanwhile, organising a press meet today at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal expressed his distress in the delay in the import of fertilisers due to the negligence of the contractors. “Despite allocating the budget and awarding the tender on time, the negligent behaviour of the contractors has forced farmers to suffer this year too,” he said. “Even though we have to accept there were a few hurdles created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the contractors are solely responsible for the delay in fertiliser import and distribution,” he added.
Hence, to regulate the agriculture sector wrongdoers have to face action, he stated. “There are two aspects concerning shortage of fertilisers — supply and distribution.
Regarding distribution, MoALD has sorted out the policy level issues,”
Bhusal said, adding, “However, the supply side has been a big hindrance for a long time and the ministry has now started preparing to sort out this issue too.” He further claimed that in the coming years farmers will not have to face any issues related to fertilisers.