The Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) has demanded the government to prioritise construction of Nijgadh International Airport in the budget for upcoming fiscal year.

"The government has not been able to decide the modality of construction for the airport.

On the other hand, there are various disputes, including felling of trees. Thus, the government should give momentum to the airport construction," reads the recommendations submitted by FNCCI for the budget of next fiscal to Ministry of Finance today.

The private sector has also demanded allocating budget by giving priority to the East-West Railway. It has also been requested to increase the use of cement and concrete in road construction.

The federation has also demanded the construction of dry ports based on railways in Bhairahawa and Biratnagar.

FNCCI has also demanded yearround operation of the northern checkpoints.

Meanwhile, the federation has also demanded to privatise government industries or businesses, saying that the potential of export growth and import substitution should be identified in collaboration between the government and the private sector.

The federation has also requested exemption of income tax if the industries have been opened with domestic investment.

The federation has demanded the finance ministry to bring special programmes to encourage the private sector. The FNC- CI has demanded effective control of the pandemic and expansion of health services, effective relief and rehabilitation programmes, infrastructure development, restructuring of agricultural ecosystems, technology and good governance in public services and promotion of private sector be prioritised in the budget.

The federation has demanded to bring more vaccines and distribute them through diplomatic initiatives with India and other vaccine producing countries to control the pandemic. FNCCI has demanded vaccination for all, including the entrepreneurs and private sector employees.

Amid this, the federation has urged continuation of the government's financial relief programme of the current fiscal year. "The federation requests continuity of the relief programme to provide concessions to small and cottage industries, tourism, recreation, public transport, film, handicrafts, ready-made garments, private schools, media houses, foreign employment services and other industries affected by pandemic for the next two years," reads the recommendation.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.