Frustrated industrialists line up sustained protest programmes

Biratnagar, March 8:

Industrialists in the Eastern development region, who have been staging phase-wise agitation for the past two weeks, organised a protest rally here today. They also warned that they would be forced to launch third phase of protest programmes if their demands were not addressed on time.

The industrialists have been demanding for an end to power cuts and bandhs and strikes.

They have also been demanding the scrapping of the additional fee imposed for the operation of multi-fuel plant.

The rally started from Shahid Stadium and passed through different thoroughfares of the city before converging into a corner meet at Janaandolan chowk. More than 1,000 industrialists participated in the rally. Not only the industrialists, workers from Sunsari and Jhapa also took part in the rally. Political parties in the district also expressed their solidarity to the industrialists’ agitation.

Addressing the meet, acting chairperson of Federation of Nepali Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Suraj Baidya said the agitation of industrialists in eastern Nepal would be extended nationwide if the government did not act on the their demands. “We will further intensify our agitation, as the government is not sensitive towards our demands,” he said.

The Morang Industry Association (MIA) had announced second phase of protest from March 4, after its demands were not fulfilled on time. The MIA will organise a sit-in in front of Morang District Administration Office tomorrow. FNCCI vice-chairpersons Bhaskarraj Rajkarnikar and Pradipjung Pandey said industrialists were forced to launch protest programmes to safeguard the rights of industry sector which was being neglected by the government. Former chairperson of FNCCI Chandiraj Dhakal said industrialists were fully prepared to safeguard the existence of the industrial sector. Industrialists have suggested that they would get relief from power woes if the 35 MW was imported from India.