THT 10 years ago: Wood entrepreneurs affected

Nepalgunj, June 20, 2006

Along with some other mills, Western Nepal Kattha Mill, the oldest wood industry and sawmill, in the far western region has remained shut for the past few weeks.

Owing to the lack of raw material, the production of Kattha (Acacia Catechu) has been affected for the past four months, said industrialist of the Western Nepal Kattha Mill, Ratan Kumar Tandan.

We were compelled to shut down the mill due to lack of raw material, said Jobar Singh Hamal, manager of the mill.

According to him, the mill established in 2014 BS, had been earning Rs 120 million to Rs 170 million annually in the initial years. But, earning of the mill had dropped off to Rs 30 million to Rs 40 million annually over the last few years, he said.

Hamal said, “Other industries have been established. On top of it, as royalty has been increased, our income has dwindled.

This year, there is a lack of raw material as well.” After the shut down of the mill, more than 30 workers have been rendered jobless. There are only seven workers in the mill at present, the manager said. Khayar tree (catechu) is the raw material for Kattha production.

But most of the Khayar trees have been cut down illegally in the eastern Banke district.

Revamp of civil service system sought

Ministers and administrators today stressed the need for a change in the civil service system to ensure women’s reservation in all government services.

Speaking at a programme organised by Mainstreaming Gender Equity and Programme (MGEP), State Minister for General Administration (MoGA), Dharma Nath Prasad Shah, said: “Though the House of Representatives has made a number of announcements concerning women, there is still a long way to go before they are actually implemented.”

He added that these announcements should be included as unchangeable articles in the interim constitution that is being drafted. The Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Welfare, Urmila Aryal, said: “The MoGA and the Ministry for Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) need to coordinate to make the civil service sector inclusive and women friendly.”

She added that the feudal and patriarchal mentality of politicians and bureaucrats are hindering the adoption of inclusive policies in the state mechanism.

This has been reflected in the formation of the government and the Maoist talks teams, the monitoring team and the interim constitution drafting committee where women’s participation is nil.

“The movement of the women, Dalits and Indigenous Nationalities for inclusive democracy will continue until they are included in the affairs of the state.

Though I am in the government, I am ready to join the women in the streets who are demanding representation in the state affairs.”