Monday, 29 November, 2021

56% industries in operation but below 50% of their capacity


By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, June 9: The industries manufacturing essential goods, which are allowed to run in the lockdown, are operating below 50 per cent of their capacity.
According to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, the industries at 10 different industrial estates producing essential goods are now in operation at around 46 per cent of their total capacities.
As per a study conducted by the ministry in 10 industrial estates of the country from May 12 to June 2, only 56 per cent essential industries are in operation in the industrial estates during the lockdown but only at 46 per cent of their total capacities.
The Ministry surveyed industries manufacturing essential goods like rice, dal, oil, medicines, dairy products, drinking water, cooking gas, tea and feed-related industries at the 10 different industrial estates -- Balaju, Hetauda, Patan, Pokhara, Butwal, Nepalgunj, Dharan, Bhaktapur, Gajendranarayan and Birendranagar.
There are 597 industries in the 10 industrial estates. Out of them, only 338 industries are operating during the lockdown far below their capacity.
The government has allowed operation of selected industries of about 42 categories from May 8 by maintaining physical distance in a bid to revive the national economy.
The industries, including food refinery industries, dairy industries, medicines and health equipment manufacturing industries, drinking water factories, brick factories, cement factories, iron industries and sand and pebble mines are allowed to run by maintaining social distancing and managing employees’ food and daily health check-up.
The government has enforced the nationwide lockdown since March 24 to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Urmila KC, assistant spokesman at the Ministry, said that operating manufacturing industries were unable to run in full capacity even after the government allowed them to run smoothly during the lockdown because of the labour problem.
“The industries are not able to run in line with their utilization capacity due to low demand for essential goods. The compulsion to maintain social distancing and safety measures has also forced the industries to call only a few workers,” she told The Rising Nepal.
The industries are operating with only 6,836 workers out of total 11,736 employees, she said.
In the industrial estates, only oxygen industries are operating in full capacity. Industries manufacturing noodles and biscuits are operating at around 50-60 per cent of their total capacity.
The industries related to rice, pulse, flour are operating at 55 per cent of their capacity whereas almost all industries running in the estates are in operation during the lockdown.
The dairy industries are operating at 60 per cent of their capacity. Local dairies are continuously operating but the big industries with pasteurization facility are still closed.
Similarly, feed industries are operating at 40 per cent while the poultry and hatchery industries are gradually being closed due to declining demand.
The medicine industries are also operating at 60 per cent of their capacity due to drop in the demand for medicines. However, they are in position to run in full capacity when the demand grows, KC added.
The LP gas refinery plants are operating in full capacity in all industrial estates.
Likewise, the tea industries are operating at 30-40 per cent capacity due to reduction in the demand abroad.
The Ministry said that exporting tea to Europe was impossible in the absence of testing and authentication due to lockdown.