Warring Dhading business chambers schedule fairs on coinciding dates

- Harihar Singh Rathore, Dhading
Warring Dhading business chambers schedule fairs on coinciding dates

Nov 23, 2014-

Political polarization at the national level has been clearly reflected among traders in Dhading with two district chambers, one supporting the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML and the other supporting the UCPN (Maoist), preparing to organise their own fairs in Dhadingbesi on coinciding dates.

Amid flaring tensions, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhading, which is aligned with the NC and the UML, has planned to hold its event from December 22 to January 1. Similarly, the Dhading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is aligned with the Maoists, has scheduled its programme for December 24 to January 5.

Shaligram Duwadi, administrative officer of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhading, said they had completed building the stalls and stage, obtained the local administration’s permission to hold the fair and completed security arrangements and bilateral agreements.

“We are working on the leaflets, pamphlets and other publicity materials, and they will be ready within a few days,” said Duwadi.

Similarly, the Dhading Chamber of Commerce and Industry which claims to be the elected and official organisation representing local businesses, said half of the preparations had been completed.

Rohit Bhandari, the administrative officer, said the fair’s slogan, date and sponsors had already been prepared. “We are in the midst of conducting agreements with traders regarding stall construction and booking. All the preparations will be completed within a few days.”

With each organisation immersed in its own administrative preparations, their district bosses said that there was no chance of holding a single fair.

Kalpana Adhikari, president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhading,  said their call for unification of the two chambers and holding a single fair was ignored and there was no chance of holding a single fair now. She added that they had to make separation preparations as the fair could not be held at the same place.

“We have already received permission from the local administration to hold the festival,” she added. “As the local administration has giving us permission, another chamber cannot hold the festival.”

However, Chandra Kanta Adhikari, president of the Dhading Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that his organization had been regularly holding the festival since 2008, and that the planned festival would be its fourth edition.

These two organizations emerged after the chamber of commerce split at its 19th annual general meeting and seventh convention held from December 14-15, 2012.

A group of disgruntled members associated with the NC and the UML had formed the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhading right after the convention. They formed the new organization accusing Maoist-allied traders of issuing membership to six family members to win the election.

This chamber organised a festival in Dhadingbesi from January 24-31 last year after holding its first annual general meeting. Similarly, the Maoist-allied chamber organised its programme from March 1-9.

The creation of two chambers has led to disputes among local traders time and again. A few months ago, there was a heated row over possession of the office building which is currently occupied by the old organisation. The police had to be called to guard the building for a month.

With both the chambers claiming to be the official organization, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the central authority, has not made any attempt to resolve the issue regarding the legitimacy of either one.

Published: 24-11-2014 09:30

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