Budget dejects industrialists

BIRATNAGAR: Industrialists in the eastern development region have said the budget did not provide them any relief.

As many as 550 industries in the Morang-Sunsari corridor had been awaiting a relief

package, since they suffered huge losses following the Koshi floods last year. According to businessmen, the budget was silent on bandhs and strikes that frequently hit the industrial sector. It had also failed to ensure industrial security.

“There is no mention of introducing an Act that will ban bandhs, strikes and road obstruction,” said Mahesh

Jaju, chairman, Morang

Trade Association. “The government’s apathy will worsen the industrial situation.”

The business community has pointed out that the finance minister had not declared the region a Special Economic Zone. “There is no plan to construct a dry port,” they maintained. “Neither are there any signs to develop Biratnagar airport as an international one.”

Dinesh Golchha, chairman, Morang Industry Association, said the budget had neglected the eastern region. He stated that the programme had failed to bring up any effective measure for the region hit hardest by the frequent bandhs and strikes. “We are disappointed that the problems in industrial sectors have not been addressed to our satisfaction,” Golchha said. Senior industrialist Nawalkishor Kabara said there were challenges in

implementing the ambitious budget. Industrialist Nandu Rathi said the 2.5 per cent increase in import duty for raw materials would adversely affect the plastic industry. Ramesh Rathi of Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum said the industries would not flourish without a legal assurance of industrial security.

The entrepreneurs appreciated the plan to build another bridge over the Koshi, scrap kawadi and local taxes.

Widows join the chorus

KATHMANDU: Women for Human Rights, a group of single women, on Tuesday said they felt humiliated by a provision in the budget, supposedly meant for their uplift.

Issuing a press statement, the WHR claimed that the provision to award Rs 50,000 to a male who marries a widow would have a negative impact.

Condemning the plan, the group has urged the government to immediately scrap the provision relating to the re-marriage of widows. As an alternative, it has suggested that the government remove age bar while providing monthly allowances to widows. — HNS