Bring industry related acts, guidelines soon: Lawmakers to MoI

Kathmandu, July 12

Lawmakers of the parliamentary sub-committee on Commerce, Industry and Consumer Welfare Relations today urged the Ministry of Industry (MoI) to bring the pending acts and guidelines related to investment as soon as possible.

Though the government has introduced and amended various investment-related legislations recently, lawmakers said investors and the entire industrial sector are not able to reap benefits of these legislations due to the delay in bringing their respective acts and guidelines.

Though MoI had introduced Special Economic Zone Act and Industrial Enterprise Act — the two key legislations related to investment — almost a year ago, both the acts have not been implemented till date as the MoI has not finished developing guidelines of these acts.

Similarly, MoI is also yet to bring the act and guideline of the National Mineral Policy, which was endorsed by the Cabinet on May 20.

“MoI should expedite the process of bringing guidelines of different acts, which are key to the implementation of the acts and policies,” said Rajya Laxmi Shrestha, a lawmaker of the committee, adding that investors and businesses have been deprived of various facilities offered to them by acts and policies due to lack of guidelines.

Another lawmaker Chandra Maharjan said that MoI is lagging behind in implementing different provisions incorporated in the Industrial Enterprises Act, such as introducing a one-window system for administrative works regarding industry registration and establishing and operating SEZs and Industrial Estates in every province.

Meanwhile, Sudharsan Khadka, secretary of the parliamentary sub-committee, said that MoI is yet to implement different directions of the committee given in the past and directed the ministry to submit the progress report on every direction that the committee has given to it in the ongoing fiscal year.

Addressing the committee meeting, MoI Secretary Shankar Koirala said that the process to bring guidelines was delayed as it requires coordination and consultation of different ministries and other stakeholders at different stages.

“However, we have already developed the draft of guidelines related to SEZ Act and Industrial Act and they are currently being analysed at the Nepal Law Commission,” Koirala said, adding that MoI will do its best to bring these guidelines within a few months.

Similarly, Chandika Bhatta, executive director of the SEZ Authority Nepal, said that high priority has been given to the construction of SEZ and its operation in Bhairahawa, Simara and Panchkhal in the first phase.

“Discussions are ongoing with Nepal Electricity Authority and Ministry of Energy about supplying electricity to the Bhairahawa SEZ. We are optimistic that Bhairahawa SEZ will start operation in full-swing soon,” said Bhatta.