Govt may ban zinc sheet export

- RAJESH KHANAL, Kathmandu
Govt may ban zinc sheet export

May 14, 2015-

The government may ban the export of galvanised zinc sheets as the demand for the product within the country is expected to swell for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of houses damaged by the quake.

The Ministry of Commerce and Supply (MoCS) has sent a proposal to the Cabinet seeking a ban on the export of zinc sheets. The Cabinet was expected to take a decision on the proposal on Thursday, but it could not happen, and discussions have been planned for Friday’s meeting.

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa said as more homework was needed to decide on the matter, Thursday’s meeting did not discuss the issue.

He said the government is yet to confirm the exact quantity of production and demand for reconstruction and rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure.

Currently, zinc sheets available in the market have thickness of 3mm. “We need the sheets that are least 4.1mm thick to ensure they last for at least a year,” said the Minister.

The ministry had proposed the ban considering it could result in shortage of the product in the domestic market. “There is a need for government intervention in this critical situation,” said a ministry official.

The official said the government has started discussions with the manufacturers on how to make the product available at maximum quantity.

Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC) statistics show Nepal exported galvanised zinc sheets worth Rs 3.5 billion last year. India is the main buyer.

The government is likely to purchase the product at larger quantity for the rehabilitation of the earthquake victims. It plans to either construct temporary shelters or provide them with the sheets directly.

Published: 15-05-2015 08:38

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