Call to put an end to syndicate system

Kathmandu, August 11:

The business community of Western and far-Western Development Regions has blamed the political parties and local administration for not being serious to the problems they have been facing for the last one-and-a-half month.

Speaking at a meeting of all the stake-holders against syndicate system organised by Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) here today, they even blamed police for being a mute spectator while the business community is living under life-threats.

“We are here in Kathmandu to tell the government about the illegal activities going on in our region,” Damodar Acharya, president of Nepalgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said adding that it is the height of government’s apathy towards its people.

To transport a truck-load of goods from Butwal to Rolpa costs Rs 75,000 at present, whereas it will be reduced to Rs 25,000, if the syndicate system is put to an end. The syndicate system has been declared illegal by the court in 2063 BS. But it is still in practice in the region that is the most backward region.

“We are now compelled to stage a protest and sit-in in Kathmandu due to the state’s failure in protecting us from such illegal activities,” Hem Raj Pandey, president of Kanchanpur Chamber of Commerce said.

“Our major concern is security,” Gopal Hamal, president of Kailali Chamber of Commerce and Industry said, adding that 13 entrepreneurs have been attacked till date. “To delivery goods we need protection, and police and administration both failed us,” he added.

They urged the Constituent Assembly (CA) members to help them raise their voice in the house also. “We urged the representatives to speak on behalf of us in the CA and force the government to provide security,” Ishwor Acharya, president of Rolpa Chamber of Commerce and said.

The government is not serious to protect the transport sector that has Rs 45 billion investment

and employed around 0.1 million people. “A question has been raised on capital utilisation of such a huge sector,” Kush Kumar Joshi, president of FNCCI said, adding that the syndicate system has hit the whole Western and Far-western Development Region. “There is a scarcity of food and medicine but the government is behaving like it knows nothing,” he added.

To draw the attention of the government members of the different chambers of commerce from various districts are staging a sit-in at Maitighar Mandala in Kathmandu from yesterday in support of FNCCI. The umbrella organisation of private sector has also filed a case in the Supreme Court last week against it. “The syndicate system, queue system and the dial system are adversely affecting the business environment,” Joshi added. “Though the present law does not allow the syndicate system or monopoly it is being flagrantly violated.”

Various organisations like district chambers, NCC and National Consumers Forum have also called to end the illegal syndicate system.