Internal Trade Policy to boost domestic sector

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jun 29, 2014-

The government has been preparing an Internal Trade Policy aimed at promoting locally-made products and ending illegal practices like black-marketing and negligent quality control.

Exportable goods like woollen carpets, readymade garments, handicraft, tea, coffee and large cardamom have also been targeted for promotion in the domestic market.

The Department of Commerce and Supplies (DoCS), which has finalized a draft of the policy, has envisioned making government agencies buy Nepali products in bulk. Similarly, the policy has planned to promote local products through major departmental stores and cooperatives.

“The government will provide necessary support to cooperatives which promote the sales of domestic products,” states the draft policy.

A committee led by DoCS Deputy Director General Chandra Kala Paudel has planned to submit the final version to the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies next week.

DoCS Director Hari Narayan Belbase said the policy had tried to incorporate small areas which the existing Commerce Policy has overlooked.  In a bid to increase the government’s investment in agricultural products, the policy will seek to have at least 6 percent of the annual budget allocated to the sector. Regarding food safety, it has planned to either tighten or relax restrictions on exports and imports of edibles as required. The establishment of traditional haat bazaars will be encouraged in new places to increase market access for local products.

The proposed policy will also crack down on those who engage in irregularities in the market. As part of this effort, the penalties in the existing laws including the Consumers’ Right Protection Act, Calibration and Metrology Act, Food Act, Competition Promotion and Market Protection Act besides the acts related to black-marketing and social crimes will be increased, according to the draft.

In a bid to encourage fair business practices in the domestic market, the policy has planned to cut the paperwork for registering new companies while simplifying the renewal of the registration of existing firms. In order to ensure effective monitoring of the market, the government will install a permanent body at the central and district levels. The monitoring team will include representatives from the local levels.

Likewise, the policy will aim to facilitate transport and storage services. Apart from constructing Container Freight Stations and Cold Storage Houses near main market centres, the government will provide discounts on the customs duty and income tax to cargo service providers. The government will also waive VAT on highly necessary goods. The policy will also promote their export in the international market by developing both backward and forward linkages.

Published: 30-06-2014 09:08

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