FNCCI presses panic button on business sector’s security

Kathmandu, October 27:

Even after government’s assurances of security, businessmen are a scared lot. More than a one-and-a-half dozen of them have been killed and five dozens attacked throughout the country.

“Industrialists and businessmen are still under a deadly threat and living in insecurity,” said Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Kush Kumar Joshi here today.

According to data provided by FNCCI, 19 businessmen were killed and 55 kidnapped and manhandled in 2007-08.

Joshi said industrialists were still living under the shadow of fear. “They have no security of life or property,” he said adding that the situation in the Tarai and in border areas was worse

due to repeated attacks, kidnapping, looting and threats.

“Manhandling and kidnapping of busniesmen has now become commonplace. Due to rising insecurity, repeated threats and outrageous demands, several industrialists have had to shut down their industries,” he said.

Joshi said, “The presence of police or security agencies in our society is of no use if they cannot fulfill their responsibility. Neither are they interested in investigation nor are they willing to examine the cases even when provided with sufficient clues regarding any incident.”

Talking about FNCCI representatives’ meeting with Home Minister Bamdev Gautam, he said,

“Again we had talks with the home minister, finance minister and IGP about getting security for businessmen and industrialists. He has assured us he will adress the issue within a few days. However, if he fails to do so we people will have no option left but to stage protest programmes. This is the only language the government understands.”

Aside from the insecurity factor, the industrial sector is continuously facing problems like strikes by labourers, load shedding and the current international economic crisis that might reduce foreign investment and also internal investment. According to Joshi, if the government remains inactive in regard to all this, sooner or later all industries here will either shut down or attempt to shift to better and safer places.