October 8: The industrialists of Chitwan have demanded to revise the industrial policy and make it friendly towards industrial establishments. In a recent interaction held with the industrialists in Bharatpur, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies stressed on the need to reduce customs duty on import of raw material and give priority to domestic industries.
Former president of the Chitwan Industries Association Hari Prasad Subedi said that there was no definition of industry in the Industrial Enterprises Act while stressing on making the industrial policy more practical. Similarly, Purushottam Rijal, chairman of Rijal Food and Beverage Pvt ltd said that they could not compete with foreign goods as they also had to pay the rent of empty containers while importing raw materials.
Industrialist Ganesh Upreti stressed on the need for transparency while implementing government policy. Stating that policy reform of the industry is inevitable, he said that there should be a difference of at least 5 percent in the tax rate for small and big industries. Tikaram Pokhrel, vice-president of the Nepal Poultry Federation said that although the country is self-sufficient in eggs and meat, its dependence on raw materials is increasing.
“There is an investment of Rs 150 billion in the poultry sector and 500,000 people are employed,” he said.
Raju Poudel, president of the Chitwan Industries Association, said that although the leaders stress on the need of industrial revolution in their speech, the industry is given low priority in practice which is reflected through the allocation of budget.
During the interaction, Director General of the Department of Industry Jiv Lal Bhusal said that the industrial policy would be revised as per the suggestion of the industrialists. He said that some policies are being included in the budget and monetary policy and are in the process of implementation. Stating that the government will address the legitimate demands of the industrialists, Bhusal said that discussions are underway regarding these issues.
Secretary at the Ministry Arjun Prasad Pokhrel said that the government will continue to change and modify the policy in a timely manner. “We have a lot of problems, but we don't have the resources. We will move forward in cooperation and coordination with the private sector,” he said. He further said that the government would focus on industrial security and investment security.