Alternative energy for small industries

Kathmandu, March 23:

Large industries are soon to be included in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) while micro, cottage and small industries will be supplied alternative energy to increase production quantity and quality.

Speaking at a programme here today on ‘Use of Alternative Energy for the promotion of Micro, Cottage and Small Industries in Nepal,’ Minister for Industry Asta Laxmi Shakya assured industrialists that the government will include large industries in the SEZ for uninterrupted electricity supply for at least five days a week.

Shakya also said that industrialists will not have to pay demand charge for the supply of electricity till the load-shedding continues and that they will get the subsidy of Rs 10 per litre in diesel.

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry president Kush Kumar Joshi said that if allowed the private sector could generate five KW of power in each district. “The government needs to join hands with the private sector,” he added. “The production of 100 KW of power in one-and-a-half years is possible if both work together.” Joshi also sought a separate ministry for energy.

Federation of Nepalese Small and Cottage Industries (FNSCI) president Ang Dendi Sherpa said small and cottage industries small investment of Rs 2 lakh but give employment opportunities to more than five employees per industry. He added that these industries need less than 5 KW of energy.

There are 8,090 cottage and 66,569 small industries registered, according to data of the year 2007. Among these are 31179 production-oriented, 3369 service-oriented, 2785 agri-forest-oriented, 3439 construction-oriented and 3416 tourism-oriented industries, according to FNSCI data.

According to FNSCI, if there is eight hours of power supply daily small industries can run at 100 per cent capacity but four hours’ supply means only 50 per cent output.Devendra Adhikari of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) said there was no linkage between programmes and institutions. “At least there should be linkage to FNSCI. Entrepreneurs should think how to coordinate with FNCSI for getting positive results,” he said.