Time to revise trade treaty with India, says Mahato

Lalitpur, September 29:

Minister for Commerce and Supplies Rajendra Mahato today said the country needed massive industrialisation to boost export and bring down huge trade deficit.

Speaking at an interaction on Nepal-India trade organised here today by the Ministry and Trade and Export Promotion Centre, Mahato called for national efforts to tap immense hydropower and tourism potentials of the country.

“It is high time we revised the Trade and Transit Treaty of 1996 with India considering the political changes in Nepal and the booming Indian economy. Trade between Nepal and India has to be taken to a level, which can be mutually beneficial to both the countries,” he added.

Industrialist Kumud Dugad asked the government to constitute a high-power committee that could give immediate solution to any problem that pops up in Nepal-India trade.

“The quarantine check and closure of border offices for two days in a week have come as big problems,” he said.

The lab testing of Nepali products has become a tedious process as the samples have to be sent to Indian cities as the border offices lack laboratories. Sometimes it takes a week to get the lab report and the approval for the entry,” Dugad said.

President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce Surendra Bir Malakar said the government was hesitating to give responsibilities to the private sector and it was evident in budget speech.

Presenting a working paper, Dinesh Chandra Gupta, deputy executive director of TEPC, elaborated the country’s export and import scenario. The paper also included problems plaguing the Nepal-India trade.

Secretary at the ministry Purushottam Ojha said the issues raised in the interaction would be discussed at the inter-country secretary level meeting that is being held soon.