Grant okayed, NPIA hat in hand

KATHMANDU: It’s more than a month that the Trade and Export Promotion Center (TEPC) Board allocated a fund of Rs 12.4 million to support the brand registration process of Nepali pashmina, but the fund is still not available to Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA) which has set a brand logo of Nepali Pashmina with the name ‘Chyangra Pashmina’ for its brand registration in the international and domestic market.

“Though the TEPC board decided to grant support for the brand registration and export promotion of Nepali pashmina, it is more than a month that we have been waiting for the allocated fund,” said NPIA president Shanker Prasad Pandey. However, TEPC director Ramesh Kumar Shrestha assured that within this week TEPC would take a decision regarding the mechanism to make the fund available to NPIA. Shrestha further said, “According to the board decision, NPIA should provide original bills of all expenses incurred during the brand registration process. As soon as the original bills are forwarded to us, we will develop a mechanism to grant fund.”

Pandey countered that NPIA already has valid electronic bills of total expenses incurred. He added that the electronic bill is valid in government offices and banks also but TEPC board is asking for the original hard copy bills of expenses which will create extra burden for NPIA. Pandey said that it would cost Rs 3 lakh to get the original bills of all expenses by courier. However, Shrestha assured of simplifying the process soon after discussions with the TEPC board.

Nepali pashmina has recently got its brand registration confirmation letter from Japan and Norway. Earlier Australia was the only country to have given confirmation letter of the brand registration there. According to Pandey, due

to the brand promotion and

its registration process, improvement has been observed in the Nepali pashmina

market abroad.

“Export has not swelled greatly but we are satisfied with its steady growth which is definitely a positive sign for us,” said Pandey adding that the fake pashmina market has also shrunk hugely and now one can easily find genuine pashmina products in the domestic market too.

In the yearly comparison data of handicraft goods exported during the fiscal years 2007-08 and 2008-09, an 18 per cent increase in export of pashmina products was observed with pashmina’s total contribution of 23 per cent in

the handicraft goods exported in 2008-09, said Federation of Handicraft Association of Nepal (FHAN). Pashmina products worth Rs 584.26 million were exported during the fiscal year 2007-08 while export increased to Rs 686.62 million during the fiscal year 2008-09.