Print Edition - 2016-10-06  |  MONEY

Pvt sector bemoans policy inconsistency, insecurity

  • Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi urges line ministries to work in a proactive manner
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 6, 2016- Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi has called upon all line ministries to work in a proactive manner to improve business and investment climate in the country and address problems faced by the private sector. 

“I’m well aware of issues raised by the private sector for the betterment of business environment in the country,” he told an interaction organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Kathmandu on Wednesday. “However, other ministers and ministries should also understand your concerns.” 
He said the Industry Ministry alone cannot resolve all the issues raised by 
the private sector. “Nevertheless, I have started consultations with other ministries,” he said. 
Minister Joshi was responding to complaints of policy inconsistency, industrial insecurity and lack of coordination among different government agencies and Industry Ministry’s apathy towards solving problems faced by the private sector made by representatives from different industries. 
Santosh Kumar Sedhai, general secretary of Nepal Plastic Manufacturer’s Assoc-iation, said, 200 factories, and investment of Rs5 billion was at risk after the government banned the production and sales of plastic bags. 
“We were running our factories using the license awarded by the government. But how can the government come up with such a decision without giving us any alternatives to secure our investment?” Sedhai questioned. 
In April last year, the Ministry of Environment had enforced the ban on plastic bags with thickness below 40 microns in the Kathmandu Valley. However, the government through this year’s budget extended the ban on import and export, sales, distribution and use of toxic plastic and polypropylene bags throughout the country. 
Similarly, industrialists present during the interaction, criticised the policy inconsistency of the government for industrial projects. 
“Although Industry Ministry encourages us to set up new industries, we don’t get support from other ministries,” said FNCCI President Pashupati Murarka. “In fact, we have been discouraged by Forest Ministry on many occasions. For example, if we acquire forest land to set up factories, we have to buy equivalent area of land for forestation. We specialise in running industries, not in managing forest.”
Industrialists also complained about acute power shortage faced by the manufacturing sector. “Although the government has agreed to provide uninterrupted power supply to the industries, it has not materialised,” said Murarka. “We request Minister Joshi to coordinate with Energy Ministry to implement the decision.”
Meanwhile, Murarka praised the government for endorsement of two important laws-Special Economic Zone Act and Industrial Enterprises Act-and urged for their effective implementation. “Unless the government ensures the effective implementation of the Acts, the private sector won’t benefit. So, entire state mechanism must be serious about implementation of these Acts,” said Murarka.

Published: 06-10-2016 08:05

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