Kathmandu, November 14
The Ministry of Industry (MoI) today announced plans to create new employment opportunities for at least 11,450 people by promoting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across the country within the next six months.
During a mid-term review of the three-month action plan that MoI had proposed in September, Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi said that MoI plans to generate job opportunities at SMEs for 11,450 people in the first phase and for 50,000 people in the second phase by increasing the financial access of SMEs.
For the same purpose, Joshi informed that MoI has requested Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to promote SMEs by bringing down high interest rates levied by banks on credit extended to such enterprises.
“SMEs are often victim of high interest rates of banks and financial institutions even though such enterprises have the potential to generate employment opportunities in a large scale.
We have requested NRB to bring down the interest rates levied on SMEs and introduce provisions that allow BFIs to issue limited loan to SMEs without collateral, depending on the project,” said Joshi.
Considered as the spine of national economy, MoI study shows that more than two million people across the country are involved in micro enterprises.
MoI plans to collaborate with development partners to offer skill and other technical trainings to people in order to meet the employment generation target. “We will soon issue a notice seeking participation from those who plan to operate SMEs on their own and offer them trainings on different subject matters,” Joshi said.
Initially, MoI plans to offer trainings on metal works, textiles, wood craft, furniture works, noodles production, carpet production, hand paper making, Mithila art, vegetable production, mobile phone repairing, beauty industry, floriculture, among others that have higher demand in the market.
Urging micro-entrepreneurs to come up with new project ideas as government would support them, Minister Joshi informed that a start-up committee has been formed at MoI which will analyse entrepreneurs’ start-up projects and recommend necessary support from the government.
To ensure that SMEs’ products get market, MoI has also planned to set up souvenir shops across different parts of the country that will do branding of products of micro entrepreneurs and sell them. Similarly, MoI also plans to certify SMEs’ products and services so that they are able to garner trust from buyers/consumers.
On the occasion, Minister Joshi also informed that the government is organising International Investors’ Summit in the Capital on March 2 and 3 next year to attract foreign direct investment in Nepal.