Security, govt apathy hit industries

Biratnagar, June 6:

Some 142 industries in the Morang-Sunsari industrial corridor have pulled their shutter down over the last 10 years due to government apathy and poor security situation.

The number of plastic industries, among the closed is the largest. Of the 100 plastic industries, 89 have already closed. Som Adhikari, an officer at the Morang Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said that only 11 plastic industries are in operation at present. “But they are also on the verge of closure,” he added.

The plastic industries began closing down after the government’s decision to impose import duty on plastic beads.

On top of that, load shedding has hit production of these plastic industries hard. “The are operating to only 40 per cent of total capacity,” he said, adding that poor security situation and labour unrest have also hurt badly. In the eastern region, only three of the 15 readymade garment factories are operational. Five zinc oxide plants and eight vanaspati ghee factories are already closed. Five of the seven iron and steel plants have also pulled their shutter down.

Eight of the nine cloth manufacturing mills in the eastern region are closed, whereas only one of three steel utensils manufacturing plants is operational. Likewise, eight of the 10 oil mills and five of the six candle-making factories are closed during the last 10 year.

MCCI member Pradip Murarka said that unless the government brings long-term policies for the business sector’s revival, these industries will remain closed. Murarka also urged the government to provide relief packages to sick industries. “Reducing the number of load shedding hours and installing a 20 KV power supply line in the eastern region, is also very urgent for the survival of the industries.”