Minister warns of ‘meddling’

Himalayan News Service

Hetaunda, January 11:

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Ishwor Pokharel, has warned that the country could become a ‘playground’ for foreigners if the Maoists kept on refusing to hold talks.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 38th general assembly of the Makawanpur Chambers of Commerce and Industries today, Pokharel said, “There is no guarantee that the UN would go to every place with the same motive”.

Stating that the constituent assembly was not an end in itself but a process, he said, “The government is ready to hold talks with the Maoists on any agenda”. Since the government is not in a position to hold elections or eliminate the Maoists, the best option left for it is to hold peace talks.

Stating the government had already drafted a new industrial policy, he said, “Banks are thriving on the deteriorating condition of factories.”

FNCCI chairman Binod Bahadur Shrestha said factory workers and their families might take to the streets to protest the closure of factories. Pokharel pointed that the government was expressing concern over the poor economic performance of the industries and expanding the tax net at the same time.