Nepal | May 21, 2019

EDITORIAL: Useful approach

The Himalayan Times

The SMEs would also generate more jobs with the passage of time if more micro entrepreneurs make the most of the opportunities that would exist for them

The Ministry of Industry (MoI) has plans to provide more employment opportunities for around 11,450 people by facilitating the opening of more Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) throughout the country in the next six months.

At a time when jobs are scarce the MoI plans to encourage the SMEs for they could provide more people with employment.

In the second phase of the project it aims to provide opportunities for employment for at least 50,000 more people. At present, the SMEs have to pay hefty interest on loans taken from banks and other financial institutions.

The MoI is also mooting providing limited loans to the SMEs without collateral if people come up with feasible schemes to run such enterprises.

Micro enterprises are considered to be the backbone of the national economy with millions of people involved. By promoting them people would not have to migrate to other countries in search of employment as they would be available within their country.

This means that the country would benefit immensely from the infrastructure that would then come into being.

The Nepal Rastra Bank has already been requested to lower the high interest on loans of SMEs from banks and financial institutions taking into account the benefits that would accrue from such enterprises in bolstering the national economy.

The MoI is all set to issue a notice that would seek the participation of all those interested in setting up their own SMEs.

The entrepreneurs would be imparted with the necessary skills and technical know-how if they wished to participate in this venture.

In the beginning training would be offered on areas such as metal works, textiles, woodcraft, furniture works, noodles production, weaving of carpet, mobile phone repairing, beauty industry, floriculture and other ventures which have so far proved to be lucrative as there is a huge demand for them both in the domestic and international market.

So that the SMEs get a market for their produce the MoI is also mulling setting up souvenir shops in different parts of the country. Also branding would be done of these products in order to gain the trust of those who consume and buy them.

The products would also be certified to show that the products are up to a certain accepted standard. Once the products are known for their quality it would mean that more such items could be sold.

This scheme appears feasible if properly operated and managed. The young people in particular who are without work and in search of employment could be fruitfully employed in the ventures of the SMEs.

The MoI would analyse entrepreneurs’ start-up projects and provide the necessary support that they would require. If this project is implemented as planned there is every hope that it would succeed.

The micro-entrepreneurs could come up with innovative ideas in this bid.

Moreover, the SMEs would also generate more jobs with the passage of time if more micro entrepreneurs make the most of the opportunities that would exist for them.

The project would contribute to the national economy that is at present in dire straits in an attempt to ensure that more people are gainfully employed in the SMEs.

Add more buses

In recent years Sajha Yatayat has gained public approval because of its spacious and comfortable buses carrying a reasonable number of passengers, thus saving the passengers suffocation and discomfort and risk of pickpockets, as well as the possibility of physical abuse experienced in private buses in which passengers are packed like sardines.

Passengers also receive better treatment in Sajha buses than in private ones.

Most private buses often charge more than the officially approved fares. Because of such features of Sajha buses, the public would like Sajha to ply on all major routes of the Kathmandu.

Sajha has added to its fleet thirty buses, which are disabled-friendly, with two seats specially designed for them.

At present, Sajha buses ply on three routes, it will add a new route within days. A television and a CCTV include new features of the new buses. It also plans to start e-ticketing services and a location tracker app very soon.

All this means progress. But more new buses should be added soon if Sajha is to cater to the needs of a significant percent of the travelling public.

Such expansion would make it easier for the general people to commute in the capital and also make the private buses improve their services.

A version of this article appears in print on November 16, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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