Industry Minister Joshi inaugurates Bhairahawa Sez for second time

- Madhav Dhungana, BHAIRAHAWA
Industries have remained reluctant to operate in the Sez due to the unavailability adequate energy

Feb 19, 2017-Bhairahawa Special Economic Zone (Sez), which has failed to come into operation even 27 months after its completion, has been inaugurated for the second time.

The administrative building of the country’s only Sez was first inaugurated in November 2014—11 years after the construction started—by the then deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam and Industry Minister Mahesh Basnet.

Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi last week inaugurated the Sez for the second time. At the inauguration event, Joshi said it will take eight months to one year for his ministry to arrange adequate power supply to the Sez. “The government will leave no stone unturned to facilitate the Sez,” Joshi said.

Industries have remained reluctant to operate in the Sez, developed at an investment of Rs850 million, due to the unavailability adequate energy.

“It was essential to publicise that stakeholders will now get full-fledged service from the Sez office here. This time we have inaugurated just the service building,” Sundar Thapa, under secretary at Sez Development Committee, said, adding officials have been deployed at the office since last Thursday.

Bhairahawa Sez had spent Rs590,000 for the first inauguration in 2014. 

But the figure stands below Rs100,000 this time, according to Thapa.

The government had launched the Sez plan in 2000, acquiring 55 bighas of land, but the construction began only in 2003, with an estimated cost of Rs540 million. The Sez currently houses three building blocks and 68 plots meant for factory units to be built.

Even after the completion of the construction, issues related to laws, weak investor confidence and unavailability of electricity have led to delays in brining the Sez into operation.

The Legislature-Parliament endorsed the Sez Bill in August last year, but other issues still remain unresolved.

In a bid to attract investors, the Industry Ministry in March 2016 had agreed to reduce rental fees.

High rental charge was one of the reasons for the reluctance of the private sector to set up factory units in the Sez.

Published: 19-02-2017 09:47

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