Pvt sector hails relief package

Kathmandu, March 19:

The private sector today welcomed yesterday’s cabinet decision to provide it relief.

At a press meet organised jointly by the Ministry of Industry (MoI), Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Nepal Chambers of Commerce (NCC), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Morang Industry Association (MIA) here, representatives of the private sector organisations said they had called off their protest programmes.

“The government has addressed our demands,” FNCCI president Joshi said adding that the private sector had called off all its protests.

The cabinet has decided to arrange for alternative power supply to the industries. “We have formed a commmittee that will suggest how to provide regular power supply to the industries,” said Industry Minister Astalaxmi Shakya.

The onus now is on the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) that will have to arrange the regular power supply, she said adding that the industries, however, will get five days regular supply of power. FNCCI president Kush Kumar Joshi also said that the private sector would wait and see how MoWR addresses the problem.

The government has also requested everyone not to call strikes or bandhs but to support the smooth operation of industries. “I request everyone to be sensitive and not call bandhs but help protect the ailing industrial sector,” the minister said.

Industrialists in Sunsari-Morang corridor were on strike since the last two weeks

demanding regular power supply and halt to bandhs and forced donation.

MIA had also threatened to go on a hunger-strike from today if their demands were not addressed.

“If the private sector moves ahead unitedly, it can convince the government,” CA member and CNI president Binod Kumar Chaudhary told The Himalayan Times from Nawalparasi. “The economic agenda should come to the forefront,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN) has demanded subsidy in diesel for the hotel sector.

Submitting a memorandum to Industry Minister Astalaxmi Shakya, it demanded that the demand charge not be taken until the power crisis resolves.