Nepal | November 27, 2020

Rift in FNCCI over statute amendment

Sujan Dhungana
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Kathmandu, August 1

Members of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry have been largely divided over its statute amendment, reflecting the increasing politicisation in the organisation that was initially set up for advocating policy for growth and development of the private sector.

FNCCI members have lately been divided over whether or not to adopt direct election system for the presidential post. Moreover, lack of understanding of this provision has also promoted mistrust among FNCCI members in recent days, weakening the legacy of the organisation.

Though FNCCI had been adopting direct election system for the post of president in the past, it had amended its statute in October 2016. The current provision states that the senior vice-president will be directly appointed as president after the president completes her tenure in three years. Incumbent President Bhawani Rana was appointed to the FNCCI’s top post under the amended provision. Under the current regulation, Shekhar Golchha, who is the senior vice-president, is automatically bound to be the next head of FNCCI.

However, a group of members, led by former president of FNCCI, Chandi Raj Dhakal, who is also a senior member of the federation, has been lobbying against the system of directly appointing the senior vice-president to FNCCI’s top post and seeking amendment to the FNCCI statute. As Dhakal and his supporters pushed the agenda for a direct election to the top post of the federation, FNCCI had formed a statute amendment committee in April last year under his coordination.

Sources, on condition of anonymity, have said that Dhakal exerted his influence on the representatives of district/municipal chambers to amend the statute, arguing that a senior vice-president tended to become passive towards the agenda of local levels when s/he would automatically becomes the president the following term. The Dhakal-led faction has been seeking necessary amendments to the FNCCI statute through a special annual general meeting as soon as possible.

There are 104 district and municipal chambers, 93 commodity associations and 12 bi-national chambers at the FNCCI. As the district and municipal chambers hold 50 per cent weightage of votes, they are considered the strength of FNCCI and can easily influence the AGM’s agenda, say FNCCI sources.

Meanwhile, FNCCI had called an executive committee meeting yesterday with ‘statute amendment’ as its major agenda. However, the meeting could not reach mutual understanding on the special AGM, as Dhakal claimed that the statute amendment proposal should be allowed to be directly presented at the special AGM, while former president of FNCCI Pashupati Murarka and incumbent President Rana refused to go against the FNCCI statute. The FNCCI statute seeks the amendment proposal to be discussed in the executive committee meeting first.

One of the members who was present at the executive committee meeting said Dhakal, following the dispute, announced his resignation from FNCCI, both verbally and in writing. However, the resignation was not read out in the meeting. “We can have differences but can’t breach provisions of the statute,” the member said.

 


A version of this article appears in print on August 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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