Industries operating at only 60pc capacity

Kathmandu, August 3

Industries have been operating at low capacity following lack of demand of industrial products in the domestic market.

Though the government eased the nationwide lockdown a month ago encouraging industries to resume operations, some industries across the Tarai region have been shut again while other industries across the country are operating below their capacity after positive cases of the coronavirus spiked once again.

For instance, the District Administration Office (DAO), Morang, has imposed a prohibition order in Biratnagar for two weeks since last Friday, following which all industries have been shut. Similarly, industries across Sunsari-Morang corridor are operating at 60 per cent capacity following plummeting demand of goods in the market.

Prakash Mundada, president of Morang Trade Association, said that industries were compelled to operate below capacity after demand for goods did not increase despite the government’s decision to ease the lockdown and allow industries to operate.

“While the demand for goods is low, the purchasing capacity of customers has also come down due to the crisis and customers are purchasing only essential goods,” he mentioned.

With the coronavirus spreading rapidly and anticipation of community transmissions of the virus being made, the government is already discussing about imposing another phase of lockdown. Industrialists seem to be worried and have further slashed their production.

“As the coronavirus is spreading rapidly and there are talks that the government is once again going to impose the lockdown, this has worried industries that are already finding it difficult to sustain. What is more serious is that the government is not looking at other options to control the spread of the COVID-19 and simply imposing the lockdown and shutting down movement of people and businesses,” said industrialist Pashupati Murarka.

Industrialists have been pressuring the government not to just impose the lockdown and shut down businesses to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Citing that prolonged lockdown and the shutdown of businesses will not only hurt industrialists and workers, but also the entire economy, industrialists have been urging the government to seek some other measures which ensures both — controlling the virus and allowing industries to operate.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 4, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.