GAN dismisses new budget as mere bunkum

KATHMANDU: The budget has promised develop export and build up the private sector by reducing the cost of business and simplifying the process of starting and closing a business, licensing. It has also assured of the availability of flexible and productive labour, simplifying listing and ownership transfer of property, guaranteeing property rights, simplifyin and facilitating the credit system, protecting investment, bringing in a business friendly tax system, controlling smuggling on the border and guaranteeing contract enforcement.

Reacting to the budget, Garment Association Nepal president Prashant Pokhrel dismissed the budget as mere political jargon. According to him, there is no confirming provision for export-oriented industrial sectors. “The budget is more political rather than an economic document,” he said. He added that the budget this time was not practical. Until relevant policies are made, even the budget cannot make any difference in the present trend. “We need a stimulus programme for export-oriented and domestic industries,” Pokharel said.

The budget also states that initiatives will be taken to fix two types of wage rates depending on the minimum work performance of labourers engaged in industries and other organized sectors.

The budget has said that emphasis will be on job security and investment-friendly labour policy. Pokharel, however, said that it is yet to be seen how it will be implemented.

GAN has been urging the government to bring flexible labour laws and make proper usage of the fund allocated by Nepal Rastra Bank for the revival of export-oriented industries, cottage and small industries and sick industries. The fund is ying idle, with only a fraction of it used for the intended purpose.

According to GAN, a number of countries have set up a separate special fund for shielding different industries from the impact of the global financial crisis, but Nepal’s garment sector and other sick industries are still not allowed to use the fund that is for sick industries. Pokhrel said the government should ensure that sick industries can get easy access to the loan.