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Salt and public health

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 public-private 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 AayoNoon, Shakti Noon, TejNoon and BhanuNoon 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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