Nepal | May 27, 2020

‘Every plot in Bhairahawa SEZ booked already’

Sujan Dhungana
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Kathmandu, October 25

All the 69 plots of Bhairahawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ) have been booked by domestic companies to build their respective industries.

According to the SEZ Development Committee, eight new companies have proposed to build industries within the Bhairahawa SEZ on the 25 plots that were vacant. Earlier, the committee had given its approval to 14 domestic companies to set up industries in 35 plots within Bhairahawa SEZ, while the committee is yet to give a green signal to companies that have proposed to set up liquor industries in nine plots.

“A thorough look at the proposals of new eight firms that have applied to set up industries within Bhairahawa SEZ shows that all the proposals are sound enough to get our approval. We will announce our decision within a week,” Chandika Prasad Bhatta, executive director of SEZ Development Committee, said, adding that the Bhairahawa SEZ received overwhelming response after a notice seeking proposals from investors was published for the second time in the first week of October.

In the first call, only 23 companies had submitted request for proposals to set of industries in 45 plots, out of which, the SEZ Development Committee had approved the proposals of 14 companies that will cover 35 plots within the Bhairahawa SEZ to operate their industries. These 14 companies are currently in the process of completing all necessary procedures of registering their industries with the related government bodies.

The eight new companies that have submitted request for proposals plan to set up industries related to water bottling plants, polymer, beverage, metal processing, electric products and noodles, among others. Asian Thai Foods is one of the eight companies to submit the request for proposals to set up noodle industry within the Bhairahawa SEZ.

Other prominent business houses like Golchha Organisation, Jagadamba Group, Vaidya’s Organisation, Lohiya Group and Siddhartha Group, among others, have already taken approval from the committee to set up their industries.

Investors’ interest in SEZ has increased basically after the Parliament endorsed SEZ Act ensuring various facilities for industries operating within the SEZ, according to Bhatta.

“We have been receiving queries from local as well as foreign investors in Nepal’s SEZ after the SEZ Act was endorsed,” Bhatta informed, adding that the government should set a timeline to introduce SEZ Guidelines and start enforcing the SEZ Act to lure more investors in Nepal’s SEZ.

Along with Bhairahawa SEZ, the government plans to establish SEZ in 14 different locations across the country to promote export-oriented industries. Bhairahawa SEZ is the only SEZ in the country at present.

The government has provided a number of incentives, including rental charge rebate, duty-free facilities on import of raw materials, among others to industries set up within the SEZ. However, industries set up in SEZ will have to export 75 per cent of their production.

The SEZ Development Committee aims to inaugurate Simara SEZ within the next two years, according to Bhatta.

A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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