Salt and pub­lic health

People's Review - - COMMENTARY - BY BRAJESH KU­MAR JHA

Salt Trad­ing Cor­po­ra­tion Ltd ob­served its 54th an­niver­sary on 12 Septem­ber this year. The Cor­po­ra­tion, which has al­ready ex­isted above five decades has pro­vided much as­sis­tance to the com­mon peo­ple, the Cor­po­ra­tion has shown the best ex­am­ple of pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship in com­merce sec­tor in the coun­try. As Nepal lacks source of salt within the coun­try and con­sid­er­ing the poor trans­porta­tion ser­vice at the time of its es­tab­lish­ment, it was a chal­lenge­able task to make avail­able salt to all the peo­ple. Con­sid­er­ing this fact, the Cor­po­ra­tion was es­tab­lished un­der the own­er­ship of the then His Majesty's Govern­ment along with par­tic­i­pa­tion of those busi­ness­men in­volved in salt trad­ing with the aim of mak­ing smooth sup­ply of salt all over the coun­try on 12 Septem­ber, 1963. As far as I be­lieve, the Cor­po­ra­tion is the first ever or­ga­ni­za­tion es­tab­lished un­der the pub­licpri­vate part­ner­ship. Since its es­tab­lish­ment, the Cor­po­ra­tion is sup­ply­ing qual­ity goods to the peo­ple at rea­son­able price all over the coun­try. The Cor­po­ra­tion is trad­ing those goods only which will not make neg­a­tive ef­fect on pub­lic life. Within ten years of its es­tab­lish­ment, the Cor­po­ra­tion was able to es­tab­lish flour mill by sub­sti­tut­ing im­port of flour in the coun­try. On the other hand, the Cor­po­ra­tion started to sup­ply salt with iodised salt to the peo­ple. To erad­i­cate neg­a­tive im­pact on health of the general pub­lic due to the de­fi­ciency of io­dine, the Cor­po­ra­tion, with the tech­ni­cal and fi­nan­cial sup­port of the In­dian govern­ment, sup­plied iodised salt to the pub­lic for con­tin­u­ous 25 years, which has helped to min­i­mize dis­eases caused by io­dine de­fi­ciency in the body. For this, the Cor­po­ra­tion as well as the peo­ple should ex­tend thanks to the In­dian govern­ment. The Cor­po­ra­tion, in the course of time, es­tab­lished the first ever Food In­dus­try Ltd., Nepal Vanas­pati Ghee In­dus­try Ltd., Go­rakhkali Rub­ber Ud­hyog Ltd., along with Nepal Fi­nance Ltd., Sa­gar­matha In­sur­ance, Hi­malaya Food and Pack­ing In­dus­try like in­sti­tu­tions at its own in­vest­ment, contributing for in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and gen­er­at­ing em­ploy­ment in the coun­try. The Cor­po­ra­tion, by es­tab­lish­ing such in­sti­tu­tions, had played im­por­tant role in sub­sti­tut­ing for­eign im­ports and re­duc­ing ex­port of cur­rency abroad. The Cor­po­ra­tion is in­volved in sup­ply of salt, oil, veg­etable oil, flour, bit­ten rice, rice, dal, su­gar, cook­ing gas, among oth­ers to the general pub­lic. Be­sides, the Cor­po­ra­tion is sup­ply­ing pa­per, tyer, tube, fer­til­izer, seeds, etc.. Hi­malayan Food and Pack­ing In­dus­try is in­volved in pack­ing of salt, su­gar, among oth­ers. Out of the staffers and labours in this in­dus­try has 84 fe­male work­ing in this in­dus­try. The Cor­po­ra­tion had sold in the last fis­cal year 2073/74, 1,87953 Met­ric Tons salt in the mar­ket. The Com­merce and Sup­ply Min­istry is run­ning a health pro­gramme to end io­dine The Cor­po­ra­tion has in­tro­duced four brands such as Aayo Noon, Shakti Noon, Tej Noon and Bhanu Noon in the Nepali mar­ket. In com­par­i­son to the salt price in the SAARC coun­tries, it is cheap­est in the Nepali mar­ket. Cen­sus taken in dif­fer­ent pe­riod make clear that the rate of dis­eases re­lated to io­dine de­fi­ciency and birth of dis­abled kids have been de­clined enor­mously. Io­dine is es­sen­tial for every in­di­vid­ual. Every in­di­vid­ual should con­sume it reg­u­larly. The Cor­po­ra­tion has made re­mark­able con­tri­bu­tion with the sup­ply of such es­sen­tial com­po­nent for the body. At a time when other govern­ment un­der­tak­ings are fac­ing loss every year, the Cor­po­ra­tion has been able to dis­trib­ute div­i­dend and bonus to its share­hold­ers every year since its es­tab­lish­ment. From this also it can be said that the Cor­po­ra­tion is do­ing a good job.

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