Kathmandu, September 13

The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) has urged the newly appointed Minister for Industry Sunil Bahadur Thapa to make efforts to bring down interest rates on loans floated to the industrial sector.

Meeting Minister Thapa at his office today, CNI officials informed that industrialists have become the victim of high and unstable interest rates on loans floated by banks and financial institutions (BFIs). Moreover, CNI also said that factors like higher interest rates, lack of enough labour force, increasing land prices and weak governance, among others are not only discouraging domestic investment, but also slowing the growth of the industrial sector.

“The private sector is committed to increase the share of industrial sector in the national GDP by promoting investment in the sector. However, the government should ensure a conducive environment for investment by initiating infrastructural development in the country, implementing existing laws effectively and making different laws contextual and improving governance,” said Hari Bhakta Sharma, president of CNI.

During the meeting, Shankar Koirala, secretary at the Ministry of Industry (MoI), stated that MoI is on the verge of addressing all the logical demands of the private sector. “In the last one year, we have introduced different policies that are friendly to the private sector. We assure that the government will take inputs from the private sector while bringing new policies and amending the existing ones,” Koirala said.

He also informed that MoI would set up Industrial Excellence Centre — a long-standing demand of CNI — soon.

Meanwhile, Minister Thapa said that the major challenge in the industrial sector at present is reforming existing policies. “Policy reforms will be the top agenda of MoI while the government will also address all other concerns of the private sector abiding by the government’s laws and policies,” said Thapa.