FNCCI calls for lockdown extension review
KATHMANDU, MAY 31
A day after the government decided to extend the nationwide lockdown for the seventh time till June 14, the private sector has urged the government to review its decision and modality of the lockdown.
Issuing a press statement today, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry stated that the continuous lockdown without any plan to normalise business activities would only deteriorate the economy and urged the government to change the modality of the lockdown, allowing businesses and the market to gradually operate.
Stating that the lockdown is not the only solution to cope with the current crisis, a that fact has already been accepted by several countries, the private sector recommended that the government make the lockdown flexible and resume economic activities by adopting precautionary measures.
“The government is only extending the lockdown and doing nothing substantial to ramp up COVID-19 tests or normalise economic activities. Such a lockdown is sheer waste of time,” reads the FNCCI’s press statement.
It adds that more than two months of lockdown has resulted in significant economic loss — worth more than four per cent of the gross domestic product — and rendered thousands of people jobless.
Moreover, industries are on the verge of collapse, while the general public is facing hardships, states the release.
“Ignoring all this, the government has been continuously extending the lockdown without consulting the business community and other stakeholders of the economy.
It is high time the government reviewed its decision to extend the lockdown and adopt an effective modality to both contain the spread of the virus and resume business activities,” adds FNCCI.
It has also urged the government to ensure easy mobility of workers and raw materials during the lockdown period.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 1, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.