LETTERS: Grab energy opportunity

Apropos of the editorial “Power to prosperity” (THT, May 15, Page 8), Nepal becoming totally load-shedding free is a watershed moment. With dark days behind us, and a plenty of power available for industries and businesses, the belief of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in catapulting the manufacturing contribution to GDP from miniscule 5.4 per cent is well-placed “Private sector hails elimination of load-shedding” (THT, May 15, Page 10).

The industries must claim a larger share of power consumption from a lowly, nondescript eight per cent as against 80 percent domestic consumption of the total electricity supply in the country. Now the industries have no reason to blame power shortage for their negligible contribution to GDP.

Electricity is one of the major components of doing business. Other factors such as employer-labourer relations also plays vital role in increasing industrial production. Frequent labour strike in the manufacturing and industrial sector is yet to be over. This issue should also be resolved to get desired results from the productive sector.

Their perennial capital crisis caused by higher lending rates can be addressed by inviting foreign direct investment in the banking sector and in other productive sectors as identified by the government.

Meanwhile, if the Ncell claim of pumping $692 million into the GDP in 2017 is true, we should invite more telecommunication firms to open up their businesses “Ncell contributed $692 million to Nepal’s GDP in 2017: Axiata” (THT, May 15, Page 10).

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Set up banks

This is with reference to the news story “Two Makwanpur rural municipalities sans banks” (THT, May 15, Page 6). Remote Kailash and Raksirang rural municipalities have yet to get banking facility.

However, six other rural municipalities have banking facilities after the local level elections were held last year. Banking facility is a must to carry out all development works and to pay salary to the local level staffers. It may be noted that the Nepal Rastra Bank had earlier requested the private banks and financial institutions to set up their branches so that all local level financial transactions are carried out through banking channels.

Most of the rural municipalities, particularly in Province 6 and Karnali, are still functioning without banking facility. In the absence of banks and financial institutions the rural municipalities have to travel to the district headquarters to deposit/withdraw the public money.

This has caused a huge difficulty to the officials of these municipalities. The provincial governments must address this issue at the earliest.

The private banks have shown reluctance to set up their branches because of unavailability of electricity and internet services. These problems must be addressed by the Nepal Electricity Authority and Nepal Telecom. No rural municipalities should be deprived of the basic amenities that they need to make them functional.

Shivaram Thing, Hetauda