Nepal | July 15, 2020

Garment entrepreneurs threaten to shut businesses

Himalayan News Service
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Citing that the budget for next fiscal has failed to address their plights resultant from coronavirus crisis, garment entrepreneurs across the country have threatened to shut their businesses.

While businesses of all types are in dire need of government’s support to overcome the current crisis, garment entrepreneurs said that the budget instead scrapped facilities that garment entrepreneurs had been getting.

“While garment entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to get interest subsidy facility announced in the previous budget, the upcoming budget has scrapped the subsidy entrepreneurs had been getting on electricity tariff. This will certainly discourage Nepali products and weaken their competitiveness,” reads a press statement issued by Garment Association Nepal (GAN).

The association has said that they had repeatedly updated the government about the problems that the industry was facing and the possible solutions before the budget was announced. “However, the budget did not acknowledge any of our problems and suggestions.

Thus, we have come to the conclusion that there is no alternative to shut down the industry now because we are not in a position to run our businesses,” said Chandi Prasad Aryal, president of GAN.

GAN has said the government failed to understand that domestic garment industry requires government’s protection and promotion.

“We urge the government to take immediate steps to address problem of garment industry or facilitate the closure of the industry and simplify the process,” said Aryal.

As per GAN, domestic readymade garments that are already losing competitiveness due to illegal import of foreign garments are on the verge of collapse due to government’s failure to support their business during the current crisis.

GAN said that there are nearly 250 garment factories in operation in the country and they have been creating job opportunities for more than 50,000 people. “However, the government’s inability to acknowledge the contribution of the garment industry to the economy has threatened the existence of all these factories and put at risk the jobs of thousands of people in the sector,” as per GAN, adding that the government’s failure to address concerns of garment industry within the next few days will result in the closure of garment factories across the country.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 2, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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