Industry chambers meet finance minister Rana

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 12:

The prevailing conflict in the country has hit the business sector hard and businesspersons are not able to increase their business and economic activities, complained businesspersons while meeting with the newly-appointed finance minister.

A delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), led by its president Binod Bahadur Shrestha met the finance minister Madhukar SJB Rana at the latter’s office and apprised him about the problems being faced by the business sector, yesterday. FNCCI presented suggestions for making the industry and commerce sector dynamic and resolving existing problems. Another delegation of Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) met with Madhukar SJB Rana and apprised him about current situation and problems faced by the industry sector.

The 19-member delegation led by CNI president Binod K Chaudhary presented its suggestions and recommendations to make the economy vibrant, reviewing the present situation, states a press release issued here today.

CNI has also brought to notice the skyrocketing unemployment, declining purchasing power of people and increased price of consumer goods. The delegation also urged the finance minister for a relief package. The package includes continuation of 10 per cent VAT rate on edible oil, abolishing 1.5 per cent special duty on imports, export duty, tax on dividend and threshold. It has also suggested to allow import of raw materials by domestic and export-oriented industry with bank guarantee only and charge VAT on billed prices rather than accumulative price including customs and local development tax.

Stating that the national economy, including industry and business, is passing through a difficult period for a long time now due to conflict and other causative factors, FNCCI president Shrestha suggested that the economy and the industry and business sector of the country can build up some momentum if peace could be restored. He also urged the government to implement suggestions made by FNCCI in a concrete manner. Shrestha said the taskforce constituted recently to resolve the problems arising out of the hike in value added tax (VAT) rate should be given continuity and recommendations of the taskforce should be implemented.

Referring to the need of a conducive environment to attract domestic and foreign investment in manufacturing and service sector, the CNI delegation emphasised on economic diplomacy by appointing ‘goodwill ambassadors’ in different countries.

CNI president Chaudhary also handed over a recommendation paper to revive sick industries, which has suggested pragmatic policy measures as well as government initiatives.

FNCCI recommendations include bringing in a relief package for the growth of industry and business sector that has been adversely affected.