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One Stop Service Centre to cut hassles for investors

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu

May 16, 2019-

The One Stop Service Centre, which the government promised to set up during the Nepal Investment Summit in March, opened on Wednesday. The centre is designed to cut hassles for investors by providing a range of services at one place and save them the trouble of visiting various government offices to get paperwork done.

Besides revising more than two dozen acts and policies, the government had promised investors that it would open the One Stop Service Centre to make their life easier.

The One Stop Service Centre is housed on the premises of the Department of Industry. Binod Prakash Shah, director general of the department, said government agencies such as the Department of Immigration, Inland Revenue Department, Department of Land Management, Department of Customs and Nepal Rastra Bank, among others, have set up desks to provide related services to investors.

According to him, 41 government employees will be deployed at the centre under the director general of the Department of Industry. “Currently, 30 officials are providing services,” said Shah, adding that the government had planned to provide most of the services online.

The government spent Rs162.5 million to construct the infrastructure of the One Stop Service Centre. Shah said the department had enforced the related directive and were drafting the working guideline.

The centre serves enterprises whose capital ranges between Rs100 million and Rs6 billion. Companies will receive almost all related services such as approval of investment, labour permit, visa facility, environmental impact assessment and approval of foreign exchange, among others at the centre. Foreign investments of more than Rs6 billion and hydropower projects of more than 200 MW capacity will be handled by Investment Board Nepal.

The centre provides services ranging from registration of firms to the procedures of exit. According to the department, companies can receive foreign exchange facility of up to $100,000 on the spot. “The government has also planned to provide repatriation service to foreign firms from the centre if they wish to close down their business here,” Shah said.

The passage of the Public Private Partnership and Investment Act 2019 just ahead of the Nepal Investment Summit opened the way for providing one-stop service to investors. The government also endorsed other laws, including the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, ahead of the summit.

Analysts welcomed the government’s move to operate the One Stop Service Centre. Economist Chandra Mani Adhikari said the service would eliminate procedural hassles and red tape that are the hallmarks of government offices.

Prithvi Raj Ligal, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission, said the government should also address policy hurdles in the exit of firms if it is to attract foreign investors. 

Published: 16-05-2019 08:37

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