The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has filed corruption cases against 12 officials belonging to Agriculture Inputs Company (AIC) for their alleged involvement in the import of substandard fertilizers. The anti-graft body has sought to recover more than Rs 1 billion from the accused officials.
The CIAA said in a statement that it has filed cases against the high ranking officials including the AIC Managing Director Netra Bahadur Bhandari at the Special Court, Kathmandu. The officials have been accused of their alleged involvement in the import of low quality DAP fertilizer that was purchased through the contractor Nepal Environmental and Scientific Services Pvt. Ltd. and Joshi Biz House Pvt. Ltd.
The AIC awarded the contract to supply chemical fertilizer to Nepal Environmental, which has been operating without renewing its license. In addition, the government enterprise did not follow any competitive bidding process while awarding the contract to the private company.
According to an investigation carried out by the CIAA, imported fertilizer did not meet the standard as per the given specifications. The large variance as a mismatch in moisture, nitrogen and phosphorus contents was found in the lab tests conducted by the Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology. The fertilizer had 12.4 per cent moisture against the set standard of 1.5 percent at maximum. Similarly, availability of nitrogen content was 14.2 per cent against the required ratio of 18 percent and phosphorus content was 45.1 percent while the required ratio was 46 per cent.