Kathmandu, April 17: Secretary at the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies Purushottam Ojha today proposed giving tax exemption to boost export and increase the sector’s competitive advantage.
Presenting a paper during the National Development Forum (NDF) consultation meeting today, Ojha also stressed on establishment of export-oriented policies for a prosperous Nepal. “We have to focus on two aspects —- import substitution and export promotion —— to end hunger, deprivation and poverty.”
Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Kush Kumar Joshi requested the government to provide security to entrepreneurs and create a business friendly environment. “The private alone cannot be blamed. How can we contribute more in times of energy crisis, insecurity and instability?” he asked. FNCCI along with Nepal Chambers of Commerce (NCC) and Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) also asked the government to bring clear a policy about the private sector and the public-private partnership (PPP).
CNI senior vice-president Narendra Bahadur Basnet asked for donor support in strengthening the relationship between ministries and the private sector. “It’s important for the success of PPP,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, donor communities also put their demands for security and energy. “Without electricity, no industrial revolution is possible,” said a GTZ representative. The Finnish representative advised focusing on agro-based industries.
Nepal has vast markets for its agricultural products in neighbouring India and China. “Nepal should focus on agro-based industries because of its geo-physical situation,” said the representative of the Nepali embassy in Finland.
Entrepreneurs and experts suggested the government redefine
its role in changing global situations. “With proper analysis of global meltdown and its impact on national economy, the government must revise its role in the economic sector,” said Dr Phatte Bahadur KC.
“Private sector’s performance is also not satisfactory,” he said adding that there was no significant improvement in the industries that were privatised. Nepal started privatising public companies in the 1990s but their performances has not been satisfactory.
“Thus, the government is planning to develop three economic models — private, cooperatives and public-private partnership. Cooperatives are envisioned for the growth of rural areas and not to counter the private sector,” said Pratap Kumar Pathak, secretary at the Ministry of Industries. The NDF draft on ‘Trade, Private Sector Development and Investment Opportunities’ has mentioned cooperatives but has not clearly described their role, said KC.
Economist and envoy-designate to India Dr Chandra Kanta Paudel asked for stimulus package for industries and promotion of healthy competition. Nepalese industries are facing energy crisis, strikes, bandhs and labour problems. The manufacturing sector contributes only seven per cent to the gross domestic production (GDP).