MoI plans to establish five industrial estates in two years

Kathmandu, March 16

The government has unveiled a plan to develop five industrial estates within two years to encourage industrialisation in the country.

Under its plan to develop one industrial estate in one province after the country adopted the federal structure, the Ministry of Industry (MoI) has said that land acquisition process for the five industrial estates have been initiated and land identification for two additional industrial estates is in the process. A recent meeting of the Cabinet has already approved the proposal of MoI to develop industrial estates in each province.

The identified land will be registered in the name of Industrial District Management Ltd (IDML), a public enterprise under the MoI.

The ministry plans to set up at least one industrial estate in the seven provinces, with each estate spread over 1,000 bighas of land, as per Industry Minister Som Prasad Pandey. “The Ministry will seek the budget in upcoming fiscal year to conduct detailed project report (DPR) of the industrial estates and the infrastructure will be set up in fiscal 2017-18.”

The ministry, which has been preparing the DPR of an industrial estate spread over 813 bighas of land in Rupandehi district, will seek budget for infrastructure development in coming fiscal, 2016-17.

“To enhance the supply-side capacity, we have to massively promote industrialisation in the country,” Minister Pandey said. He further informed that small- and medium-scale industries will be given top priority to set up factories in the industrial estates.

The government has yet to identify the land for industrial estates in province 2 and province 4.

IDML has identified land in Damak of Jhapa district, close to the banks of Ratuwa and Mawa streams to develop the industrial estate in Province 1. A total of 500 bighas of land will be acquired in the first phase.

Likewise, Makwanpur district has been identified for another industrial park in Province 3. The MoI has started the process to acquire 300 bighas of land in Mayurdhap of Hetauda sub-metropolitan city.

In province 5, besides Rupandehi, government has identified 525 bighas of land in Naubasta of Banke district for the industrial estate.

Similarly, 900 bighas of land in Bedkot municipality of Kanchanpur district has been identified for industrial estate in province-7.

“We have finalised the process of acquiring the land for the proposed industrial estates by holding a series of meetings with all-party political committee at the local level, District Administration Office, locals, and officials from Survey Department,” said Minister Pandey.

Currently, there are 11 industrial estates and one special economic zone (SEZ) operational in the country. The SEZ has been set up especially targeting export-oriented industries and 75 per cent of products manufactured in the zone need to be exported. But, there are no such mandatory provisions for the factories established in the industrial estates.

According to MoI, IDML has proposed some locations like Jutpani and Shaktikhor of Chitwan and some sections of land owned by Sagarnath Forestry Development Project for additional industrial estates.

Meanwhile, private sector has suggested the government to hand over administration of the estates to the private sector for its effective and efficient management.

“If the government agrees to hand over management of the estates to the private sector, it will also be able to generate resources to make further investment in new industrial zones and SEZs,” reasoned Dinesh Shrestha, vice present of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry.