Common political stand sought

Kathmandu, August 7 :

Reiterating their previous demand, private sector representatives today asked major political parties to come up with a minimum consensus on an economic agenda.

Businessmen and entrepreneurs have asked all major political parties including the CPN-Maoists to clarify their position on ec-onomic issues and policies, saying that the economy will not flourish unless and until all concerned sectors come up together. Speaking at a special session of the 40th AGM of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), they said that the private sector was hit hard during the conflict.

“Economic issues have been shadowed and sidelined, although all political parties agree on economy as the foundation of development,” said Chandi Raj Dhakal, president of FNCCI. Referring to political activities that have had direct impact on economic activities, he further said, the private sector has been sandwiched between political egos and differences.

Bijaya Sharaf of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the country’s major industry and business areas have now been turned to ‘full of terror and anarchy’. “If the government cannot provide security and ensure conducive atmosphere in business, we are not obliged to pay taxes,” he said.

Responding to queries, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, CPN-UML standing committee member, agreed that the government and political parties have failed to give due recognition to the private sector. He assured that his party would work on brining a common economic proposal.

Democracy is the only system in which inclusive economy can flourish, and peace and security are two essentials to sustain democracy, said Binay Dhoj Chand, MP of Nepali Congress. He raised serious concerns over increased extortions. He said that Mao-ists so-called parallel government is not legitimate and cannot collect tax, whi-ch is against the 25-point code of conduct and 8-poi-nt pact. Even after the establishment of democracy following Janandolan-II, people are not secure and businesses have not been able to run smoothly, said Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani, co-chairman of Rastriya Janashakti Party. “People, and business community, have been terrorised openly,” he said. Though both the government and the Maoists are vocal about their sincerity to economic issues, they are just paying lip service,” he said adding that not a single sign of improvement has been seen.

Dr Minendra Rijal, central member of Nepali Congress (Democratic), urged that all parties and stakeholders must come up with a common vision fo rebu-ilding new Nepal.