Kathmandu, March 29

In a clear sign of over-politicisation at the Federation of the Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the largest umbrella organisation of the private sector is gearing up to amend its statute to elect its next president through direct election.

Interestingly, FNCCI statute was amended in October 2016 just before the election of the incumbent leadership. The earlier amendment had introduced a provision whereby the senior vice-president would be elected directly and s/he would be automatically appointed as the president for subsequent tenure. Discussion on statute amendment when not even a single tenure of FNCCI president has been completed threatens to tarnish the image and authenticity of the federation.

Those privy to the recent development have claimed that the agenda of statute amendment has been planted by the people at the centre of FNCCI politics to create obstacles for incumbent Senior Vice-president Shekhar Golchha to be appointed to the top post of FNCCI. The district and municipal chambers have been accusing Golchha of not paying attention to the issues of entrepreneurs at the local levels and are claiming he would continue to neglect them even after he secures the top post at FNCCI.

The rival ethnic groups in the FNCCI are gearing up for registering the proposal of amendment in the annual general meeting of the largest private sector umbrella body in the second week of April, according to sources. “The former president of FNCCI, Chandi Raj Dhakal, is pushing this agenda,” said a source. Dhakal’s tenure in FNCCI ended a decade ago. However, he is the only former president who never retired from FNCCI politics. The current leadership of FNCCI has also been widely criticised for providing Dhakal the space to continue to exert his influence in the federation’s activities.

Also, Dhakal has been recently recommended by the FNCCI as the vice-president of SAARC-Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Nepal.

“My ultimate goal is to be the president of SAARC-CCI and I need to keep making a visible impact through FNCCI until then,” Dhakal had told THT recently. He was unavailable for comments for this story today.

Many believe that FNCCI’s leadership’s role in ensuring that Dhakal maintains his clout at the FNCCI could be fatal for the institution.

There are 104 district and municipal chambers, 93 commodities associations and a dozen bi-national chambers at the FNCCI. As the district and municipal chambers hold 50 per cent of the weightage of the votes, they are considered as the strength of FNCCI and can easily influence the AGM’s agenda, as per FNCCI sources.