By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Nov. 25: Businesspersons have urged the government to make concrete reforms to lead the country on the path of economic development and support business rehabilitation. “Slogans don’t attract investment, we need to create better policy environment and address the challenges that obstruct the growth of business and industry,” they said univocally at a dialogue programme organised by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on Wednesday on the occasion of National Industry Day.
The seventh National Industry Day is being celebrated on Thursday, Mangsir 9 of the Nepali calendar. “Increasing trade deficit is the single largest challenge of the economy,” said President of FNCCI Shekhar Golchha, “Until we make value addition in Nepal and create employment by promoting enterprise development, there wouldn't be a positive change in the economy and development.”
According to him, procedural reforms should be made immediately. “Cost of doing business is very high and import of raw materials is troubled by high logistic cost,” said Golchha. The business community also stated that the bank interest rates and energy expenses are very high.
There is 30-40 per cent fluctuation in interest rates which makes investment environment unpredictable in Nepal and no one wants to take risks in such a situation, he said. The private sector has demanded with the Nepal Electricity Authority to provide them electricity at the rates the power authority is exporting it to India. Bharat Raj Acharya, Chair of Industry Committee at the FNCCI, said that liquidity crisis and poor credit flow has stagnated the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem. “There should be a provision for maintaining liquidity to mobilise finances to industrial sector.
Likewise, project financing should be implemented in real sense to promote start-ups and innovation,” he said. According to him, there are 14 industrial and business related acts which have several provisions to hamper the growth of business. Businesspersons said that the membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had brought them more constraints than favours and they suggested that the government should think about protecting domestic industries contributing to the employment and economy.
Senior VP of the FNCCI, Chandra Prasad Dhakal, stated that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) has not been the priority of the government. “The ministry should have been accorded a high priority in the post-COVID situation as there is a need of launching economic recovery programmes,” he said.