Kathmandu, April 19
Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav, has urged the private sector to work in collaboration with the government for the production and promotion of pashmina.
Speaking at the 18th annual general meeting (AGM) of Nepal Pashmina Industries Association (NPIA) here today, Minister Yadav said, “Entrepreneurs must take the government as their partners and work collaboratively rather than criticising the government all the time.”
Urging private sector players to come up with suggestions to better the situation rather than just blaming the government for slow development, he further said that it is impossible to replace imports without a strong production base.
“To promote the pashmina industry, we have to increase the quantity of products first. For that we need to coordinate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development for development of Chyangra farming,” he said.
He assured that the government is gradually moving towards changes and that entrepreneurs should also abide by the corporate law.
Meanwhile, Durga Bikram Thapa, president of NPIA, requested the government to bring a policy that would require depositing one per cent of the total pashmina exports with the government and that amount would be utilised for promotion of the industry. “If we are able to do this, pashmina exports are likely to grow three times compared to now.”
According to Thapa, pashmina products worth Rs three billion had been exported and pashmina worth Rs 2.50 billion had been purchased by foreign tourists from Nepal in 2018.
Despite its huge demand in the international market, production of Nepali pashmina has been limited due to low production base. “In such a scenario, our industry could grow tremendously if only we could create industry-friendly policies and strategies,” he added.
Although the 14 mountainous districts in the country are suitable for producing raw materials for pashmina, only three are currently involved in its production. Currently, Nepal’s market share in the global pashmina business stands at a mere 1.5 per cent.
A version of this article appears in print on April 20, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.