Traders warn of street stir against Maoists

Pokhara, September 15 :

Entrepreneurs and businessmen, alleging that they have been subjected to exploitation due to Maoist extortion drive and that the government has not shown any seriousness to stop it, have warned they would take the issue to the streets. The warning was issued by office-bearers of the Pokhara Chambers of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) on the occasion of their 26th general convention here today.

The PCCI said its patience was exhausted as the businessmen were being subjected to payment of tax to the government, “donations” to the Maoists and meeting demands of different trade unions. PCCI office-bearers added that they were planning in this regard a national level meeting in Birgunj on September 18.

Speaking on the occasion, president of the Federation of the Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chandi Raj Dhakal said billions of rupees in investment were at stake as the government and Maoists were oblivious to the problems faced by the private sector. Warning that the patience of the entrepreneurs should not be interpreted as weakness, he said the trade unions had put forth impossible demands.

Former president of the FNCCI, Ananda Raj Mulmi said the Maoists were collecting money directly by issuing receipts. Another former FNCCI president Pradeep Kumar Shrestha claimed that unity of the business class could control the problem. Meanwhile, the election of the office bearers of PCCI is scheduled for tomorrow in which 20 candidates have filed their candidature for 14 posts.