Urge to depoliticise trade unions for better business environment

Kathmandu, August 15:

Entrepreneurs have suggested a depoliticisation of trade union.

“Due to politics of trade unions, the business environment has been disturbed,” said Kush Kumar Joshi, president of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), addressing the eighth annual general meeting of the Leather Footwear and Goods Manufacturers’ Association of Nepal (LFGMAN) here today.

Apart from politics, lack of good governance also has hit the industries.

“Whatever we have achieved till now is on our own efforts and efficiency,” he said, adding that the state has been unable to recognise the importance of private sector.

“Private sector is in the least priority list,” Joshi complained. “What we need is a focused programme.”

The domestic footwear industries could not penetrate international market due to lack of skilled workers, complained the footware manufacturers.

LFGMAN was established in the year 2057 with an aim to promote the local footwear industry.

“Around six to seven million footwear is produced in Nepal. It covers the 40 per cent of the total consumption whereas remaining 60 per cent is still imported,” according to the association.

Homnath Upadhyay, second vice-president of LFGMAN said, “The sale of the local footwear has been increasing by 10 per cent annually.”

There are around 15 to 20 local brands of footwear in the market. “Out of which more than five brands have already established itself in the market,” he said, adding that Nepal produces 20 per cent of the raw materials needed for the sole and remaining is imported.

There are more than 150 footwear industries in Nepal but as there is the lack of international market, they are not getting as much promotion. Though there are 150 industries but there is no proper record of their total turnover.

The quality of the products has to be maintained alongwith the accurate future plan for their promotion.

“FNCCI and Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC) are very soon going to conduct a survey that will be completed

before this years’ budget,” Joshi promised.

Surendra Bir Malakar, president of NCC said that awareness should be increased about the Nepali products.

“Even the association itself is not very much aware of its

real situation,” he said, adding that promoting local production means helping develop

the country.

The demand for the local products is increasing. “The demand of the Nepali shoes in the local market is increasing,” Malakar said. Though Nepal manufactures quality shoes, it lacks a better promotion.

“Due to illegal import, we are facing a tough competition in the market,” Surendra Prasad Dahal, representative of LFGMAN complained adding that our goods have high production cost and cannot compete with the illegal import.

“We feel proud as locals have started buying domestic products now,” he said.