Traders seek immediate hike in export subsidy on carpets

Kathmandu, August 14

Citing that the export of domestic carpets has been falling in recent years following its failure to compete in the global market, exporters have urged the government to immediately hike the export subsidy on carpets and protect the domestic carpet industry from further downfall.

Speaking at the 12th annual general meeting (AGM) of Nepal Carpet Exporters’ Association (NCEA) today, traders said that high production cost in Nepal has made domestic carpets dearer in the international market because of which they are failing to compete with other foreign brands despite the comparative strength of Nepali carpets in terms of quality.

“Even as our carpet export has been on the decline every passing year due to our inability to compete in the foreign market, the government has not been doing much to promote its export. The government has not even implemented its earlier commitment to raise the export subsidy in carpet to 10 per cent,” NCEA President Anup Bahadur Malla said, adding that the government should immediately increase subsidy in export of carpet if Nepali carpets are to be made competitive worldwide.

Currently, the government is giving two per cent subsidy in the export of domestic carpets.

As per the government statistics, export of carpet came down by 8.3 per cent in the first 11 months of the fiscal year 2016-17 to Rs 6.72 billion compared to Rs 7.3 billion worth of its export during the same period in 2015-16.

Similarly, traders also urged the government to simplify the process of issuing such export subsidy to traders.

Addressing the event, Minister for Commerce Meen Bahadur Bishwakarma said that the government is positive towards increasing subsidy in the export of carpets. “However, it has to be noted that subsidy alone is insufficient to boost exports, and Nepali traders and manufactures have to be mindful about the quality of their products as well as the design preference of their international customers,” he said.