Biz briefs

Cocoon cultivation


Twelve farmers, who had started silk cocoon cultivation on two hectares of land in Dhading district 15 years ago under the Sericulture Development Project, are now producing 10 metric tones of cocoon every year. Dhading district now has 212 hectares of cocoon cultivation and produces 8,800 kg of cocoon worth Rs 1.66 million. — RSS

Cottage products expo


A three-day long exhibition of cottage products organised by the cottage and small industries, branch office Tanahu concluded here on Saturday. Some 28 selected entrepreneurs of different industrial groups were given away prizes and certificates at the concluding function. — RSS

Traders protest VAT hike


Entrepreneurs throughout the country have protested the recent hike of value added tax (VAT). Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), Bhaktapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and Lalitpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) have agreed to protest against the hike. — HNS

Chinese auto market


China’s auto market is meant to be the great hope for the world’s top manufacturers but with sales growth slowing dramatically in 2004 they may instead have to get used to the idea of unwanted competition in their home markets from Chinese exports. The first straw in that ominous wind comes with Chery Automobile’s recent deal to sell its passenger cars in the US, the world’s largest market and where the giants — GM, Ford and Chrysler — are already under siege from Asian competitors led by Toyota of Japan. — AFP

Tackling bureaucracy


Ice factory owner M Perumal is on his knees desperately trying to extract a large bundle of salt-water-soaked papers, including a vital ‘government permit’, from a tsunami-battered chest of drawers. He fails and despairs as the blackened files dissolve into bits and pieces amid the rubble. To set up a business in India one requires more than 25 ‘clearances’ from government departments such as the registrar, public works, water, electricity and health. And each department requires dozens of files to be typed out or handwritten with requests and proofs of residence, property and bank guarantees. — AFP