Kathmandu, Jan 6: Embroiled in a manufacturing row since last month and now also under probe for revenue discrepancies, Indian multinational Dabur India’s independent group company Dabur Nepal has paid an NRS50 million security deposit and admitted to packaging errors, Nepal’s official watchdog said.
Sameer Silwal, joint attorney-general at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), who led a raid on Dabur Nepal’s storehouse in southern Bara district last month, told IANS the company’s chief executive officer Udayan Ganguly and production chief Indranil Gupta, were released from surveillance Wednesday after being questioned for three days and, finally, posting a security deposit of NRS50 million.
They have also agreed to appear before the watchdog for further questioning, if required, Silwal said.
This is the first time in Nepal’s corporate history that such a measure was been taken against an Indian company.
Silwal said during the questioning since Sunday, the two Dabur Nepal officials had admitted to an “error”.
Last month, acting on a complaint by a consumers’ group, the CIAA raided Dabur Nepal’s storehouse in Rampur Tokhani in Bara district along the Indo-Nepal border and found nearly 74,000 packed cartons of the Real and Real Activ brands of fruit juices, which carried the manufacturing date of Jan 11, 2011.
Media reports added that under questioning, the two Dabur Nepal officials said the advanced manufacturing date was a printing error and the cartons had been packed with fruit juice due to a communication lapse. When the mistake was detected, the company was ready to withdraw the lot.
However, there was no immediate official confirmation.
Silwal said the investigation was still on.
Besides the CIAA, the Department of Revenue Investigation, that took part in the raid as well as interrogation, is also conducting its own investigation.
Samples of the fruit juices taken from the storehouse and tested at the central laboratory in Kathmandu were given a clean chit.
Despite the controversy, shops and supermarkets continued to stock and sell Real and Real Activ fruit juices though their promotional campaigns were withdrawn.
Dabur Nepal faces a second ordeal in Nepal’s apex court as a resident from southern Nepal, Bhushan Giri, has filed a writ against the multinational, seeking the firm’s licence cancelled.
The factory in Nepal is the main production unit for the Real brands which are then exported to India, Bangladesh and other countries.
Dabur Nepal is one of the largest Indian investors in Nepal and the biggest exporter.–(IANS)