Nepal | July 08, 2020

Stakeholders stress effective application of SEZ Act

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, January 24

Stakeholders have said that the government should give high priority to implement provisions in the SEZ Bill to lure investors to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Addressing a roundtable discussion on ‘Issues of industries inside the Bhairahawa SEZ’ today, they said that though the government has assured of lucrative incentives to investors inside the SEZ, the government has not been able to implement them properly.

“It is good that the new SEZ Bill, which has been tabled at the Parliament, has tried to encourage investors inside SEZs by reducing the mandatory export provision for
industries operating within the SEZ and has also added some more tax incentives for such industries,” said Shankar Sharma, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC). “However, investors are still suspecting the ability of the government to execute these provisions properly.”

The new SEZ Bill, which was endorsed by the Cabinet last week, has reduced the mandatory export provision for
industries operating within the SEZ to 60 per cent of their production from 75 per cent enforced earlier. Along with this, the Bill has also assured 100 per cent income tax waiver facility for industries inside SEZ for the first five years after they begin production and 50 per cent income tax waiver thereafter.

Likewise, the government has also reduced the rental fee for industries within SEZ to Rs 20 per square metre per month from the earlier fee of Rs 150 per square metre per month.

On the occasion, Bimal Wagle, former government secretary, informed that drawing huge private sector investment, especially in government protected areas like SEZ is not an easy task. “Any investor looks for comparative advantages, credibility and documentation process in a country before injecting investment. Thus, the government should keep these things in priority while formulating any policies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Prakash Maharjan, chief executive officer of Shakti Minerals and one of the investors inside the Bhairahawa SEZ, informed that contradiction in policies, ambiguity and lack of proper coordination between the government agencies have been discouraging investors inside SEZs.

Echoing what Maharjan stated, Toyam Raya, director general at the Department of Customs, said that different laws of the government are contradictory thus resulting in difficulty in their effective implementation.

However, Chandika Bhatta, executive director of SEZ Authority Nepal, said that necessary amendments have been made to the existing SEZ Act keeping in mind the need to boost the confidence of investors within the SEZ. “The government can be more flexible in the export provision for such industries in the future if necessary,” said Bhatta.

A version of this article appears in print on January 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Transport entrepreneurs deposit vehicle keys at banks in Pokhara

POKHARA: After failing to deposit the loan installment in the wake of extended lockdown, transport entrepreneurs handed-over vehicle keys to bank officials in Pokhara, on Monday. As many as ninety entrepreneurs associated with Prithvi Highway Bus Association handed over the keys to officials Read More...

175 suicide deaths in Sudurpaschim during lockdown

DADELDHURA, JULY 6 As many as 175 people have died by suicide during the nationwide lockdown in Sudurpaschim Province. Police said that suicide deaths have been reported from all nine districts of the province from March 24 till date. Police said suicide deaths were more common among males com Read More...

Iran, General Qassem Soleimani,

UN expert deems US drone strike on Iran's Soleimani an 'unlawful' killing

GENEVA: The January US drone strike in Iraq that killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and nine other people represented a violation of international law, a UN human rights investigator said on Monday. The United States has failed to provide sufficient evidence of an ongoing or imminent att Read More...

Rasuwagadi customs reopens after more than six months

KATHMANDU, JULY 6 The Rasuwagadi checkpoint at the Nepal-China border, which had been closed for more than six months due to the coronavirus pandemic, has resumed operations from today. Punya Bikram Khadka, chief of Rasuwagadi Customs Office, informed that the checkpoint was formally reopened Read More...

‘Agriculture sector could become a source of inclusive growth’

KATHMANDU, JULY 6 The agriculture sector could become a source of inclusive growth when millions are expected to be rendered jobless in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to experts. Addressing a virtual event organised today to highlight the 2020 Global Food Policy Report (GFPR) Read More...

New quality standard for fruit juices, beverages

KATHMANDU, JULY 6 The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) has set the standard for juices and beverages. As per the department, the new standard for beverages and juices has been introduced to ensure healthy competition in the domestic market. “The new standard will Read More...

Dhakal appointed

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Monday appointed its joint secretary Bhakta Bahadur Dhakal as the acting Member Secretary of the National Sports Council. Dhakal, chief of the Sports Department at the Ministry, will be incharge of the Council until the next provision, said the NSC i Read More...

Journalists feted

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Youth and Sports on Monday honoured four sports journalists with sports journalism awards. Minister Jagat Bahadur Sunar and Secretary Ram Prasad Thapaliya handed over appreciation letters along with Rs 50,000 each to Dhruba Kumar Tuladhar, Roshan Singh Raut, Keshav Read More...