MIN RATNA BAJRACHARYA
Although production of paddy has gone up in Nepal in the past year there has also been a sharp increase in the import of rice from India in the last fiscal year. Just in the past two months Nepal imported Rs 1.14 billion worth of rice from India, a whopping 800 per cent more than the same two months last year when only Rs 12 million worth of rice was imported.
Besides rice there has also been an increase in other food crops from India. The import of potatoes, for instance, is up by 40 per cent compared to last year. Nepal's trade deficit with India has shown a bigger gap because of food and petroleum imports. Nepal imported petroleum products worth Rs 15.28 from India in the past two months alone, representing Nepal's single biggest import item. Even the import of fruits from India has gone up by 120 per cent compared to last year, according to the Central Bank. The imports of vegetables, livestock, dairy products, and tea from India have all risen sharply.