NCC submits 17-point suggestion to NRB

Kathmandu, April 14

A team of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) led by its President Rajesh Kazi Shrestha has submitted a 17-point suggestion to newly appointed Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank, Maha Prasad Adhikari, about the impact on the economy due to the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown.

NCC has stated that the private sector plays an important role in the country’s economy and sustainable development of the private sector will help support economic growth in the country. As the state’s main source of revenue is the private sector, the NCC has mentioned that the private sector should be protected and its demands should be addressed liberally.

The chamber’s suggestion states that a high-level study workforce should be formed with the participation of the private sector for the study of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy. The NCC has urged that an empowered mechanism should be created to assess the damage done to the economy and return it to its previous rhythm. It has also requested that all forms of government-owned facilities be made accessible through a one-door system.

“As it is very challenging for investors to manage their businesses in the present situation, banks and financial institutions should be asked to arrange loans for business houses,” the NCC suggestion reads.

The NRB has suggested that all types of small, medium and large industries and other businesses be provided loans through refinancing facility at subsidised rates.

As there is a need for cash reserves for the business persons to conduct business operations in the present adverse circumstances, NCC has suggested that the banks refrain from automatically deducting the balance from the debtors’ account.

The chamber has also suggested that the spread rate of the banks should be fixed at three per cent, and the central bank should reduce the credit to core capital plus deposit (CCD) ratio to increase the capital flow.

It has suggested that the banks defer interest payment on loans for businesses and individual borrowers for as long as the coronavirus pandemic is not brought under control, instead of the earlier moratorium that allowed borrowers to defer payment till mid-July.

NCC has also recommended NRB to come up with a policy for investment in economic development, production growth and employment generation through the private sector.

It also suggested that a policy be introduced to enhance the skills of foreign job-seekers and Nepali migrants who lose their jobs due to COVID-19 layoffs so that they can be provided employment in production sector within the country, with the support of the donor agencies and development partners.

The chamber has also provided suggestion that a policy should be introduced whereby the private sector and local governments can cooperate to provide skill-based training to local youths and promote entrepreneurship at the local level.

It has also sought a reduction in taxes and electricity tariffs to help businesses slash their operating cost. The NCC also said that various tax polices need to be reviewed by the government.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 15, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.