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Kathmandu Post: Ineffective forest law mars timber corporation
The customers are suffering due to the ineffective distribution system of the Timber Corporation Nepal (TCN). Lack of proper procedures to supply timber and timber products has deprived the customers of good services.
In the absence of proper mechanism, it has been difficult for them to purchase timber, while the lack of clear pricing policy has made things simply worse.
TCN chief Sambhu Prasad Mainali blames the government for the absence of clear provisions for timber trade.
“There is no clear law in selling timber in the Forest Act. As a result, TCN and other departments under the Ministry of Forests sell it on their own,” says Mainali.
“All the departments under the ministry have the same source for timber but their prices largely vary. This allows businessmen to manipulate traders, resulting in huge kickback,” adds Mainali. “We need effective law and sincere employees to address this issue.”
Mainali thinks the government decision to allow timber sales from departments including community forest division and national forest division has created problems.
The ambiguity in the provision has encouraged favouritism in the department. Those acquiring wood from the timber corporation mostly come from personal relations or references.
“It’s true that people find it frantic to get their demands approved. This is also due to lack of mechanism and marketing as well as a huge gap between the demand and supply,” said Mainali.
TCN was established in 2011BS with the aim to collect timber and firewood and provide service to people, organisations, industries, business houses and government projects. Currently, the corporation has 10 regional offices, 16 sales depots, 39 lobbying camps, 6 sawmills and one pole treatment plant. It is the only government body to sell processed timber products such as round timber, fuel wood, bi-products, pole treatment and briquettes.
It allocates 100 cubic foot of timber for individual customers on subsidised rates. It has also allocated timber for agro products, natural disaster victims and cremation.
Meanwhile, the customers rue negligence on the part of TCN. “It is very hard to obtain timber from the corporation due to procedural hassles,” says Bijay Thapa.
Meanwhile, TCN’s five-year record shows increase in revenue from Rs 185,536,067 to Rs 460,677,297. This is largely due to substantial increase in timber’s prices. The production cost has also increased from Rs 5,115,700 to Rs 85,795,829. The forest royalty at the same time has gone up from Rs 97,355,749 to 181,035,303. However, the corporation’s administrative cost has decreased from Rs 107,004,794 to Rs 78,261,952.
Posted By Angela Strader at 3:02pm on April 26, 2012
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