KATHMANDU, Nov 11: The Supreme Court has stayed a government decision to increase the price of timber. The bench of Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi and justice Prakash Wasti on Sunday issued the order acting on a writ petition filed a month ago by nine timber traders associated with the Federation of Forest Based Industry and Trade Nepal (FENFIT).
The Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation through a secretary-level decision six months ago had ordered forest offices across the country to sell timber at the price set by Timber Corporation of Nepal (TCN) which is higher than the rates published in Nepal gazette a year ago.
As per the rate published in the gazette, the price of A grade sal timber is Rs 800 per cubic feet but TCN would sell it at Rs 1,400 per cubic feet. TCN has been selling 17 types of timber at almost double the rate published in the gazette.
"The timber traders were compelled to buy timber from community forests and district forest offices at the price fixed by TCN. At present the price of sal timber is Rs 4,000 per cubic feet which is almost five times more than the rate mentioned in the gazette. With the SC decision, the price could come down by around Rs 1,000," said FENFIT president Kapil Kafle.