Kathmandu, October 2

After the revival of Nepal Drugs Ltd, the Ministry of Industry (MoI) is preparing to revitalise Hetauda Textile Factory (HTF), which had already been liquidated.

The MoI is going to revive the factory to produce uniforms for the country’s security agencies. Reportedly, the government will also sell a certain percentage of its share in HTF to the security agencies to bring back the factory into operation.

After calculating the value of the property — land, infrastructure and machinery — the government will invite the security agencies to inject share capital to bring the factory into operation, according to Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi.

“We have been talking to Nepali Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force to revive the factory for the purpose of manufacturing uniforms for the security forces,” Minister Joshi said, adding that the factory could also be utilised to manufacture uniforms for the civil servants.

After Hetauda Textile Factory was liquidated, its property has been owned by the Industrial District Management Ltd. HTF is a composite mill with spinning, dyeing and weaving processes but currently, there is less possibility to operate the spinning component. The factory might have to import yarn.

The MoI has formed a nine-member taskforce under the leadership of former member of National Planning Commission Pushkar Bajracharya to conduct a study on how HTF can be brought into operation. The taskforce, led by Bajracharya, has already been mobilised and it will provide a report to the government about the status of the factory, its machinery and its production capacity, among others at the earliest.

If the security agencies agree to operate Hetauda Textile, the government will offload a certain percentage of the share to the security agencies after valuation of the property, according to Minister Joshi.

While reviving Nepal Drugs, Minister for Industry Joshi had said the defunct factory was revived in a bid to disseminate a positive message to potential investors that the industrial climate in the country is improving and the government will not solely inject resources to operate other state-owned enterprises (SOEs) that are on the verge of collapse. SOEs will be operated under the public private partnership model, cooperative model and through awarding management contract to the private sector.

However, the MoI is yet to come up with a concrete plan. It has repeatedly been saying that the government will not handpick the management heads and employees but the government has yet to issue a regulation to run such industries without any interference from the government.