November 28: The state-owned Herbs Production and Processing Company Ltd has started making profit since the past three years.
Established in 2038 BS, the company has started making profit since fiscal year 2075/76 BS, the state-owned national news agency RSS reported. The company's Manager Gyaneshwor Karki said that the company had earned Rs 19.2 million for the first time after paying tax on its income.
Similarly, the company made Rs 12.2 million profit in the fiscal year 2076/77 BS while audit of the fiscal year 2077/78 BS is underway. The company has made profit this fiscal year as well. Among the government's public organisations in the industrial sector, this is the only institution that is making profit, RSS further stated.
The company has started distributing dividends to shareholders from the fiscal year 2076/77 BS. The company is making preparations to issue share to the general public once the audit report is finalized. The company said that it is working towards increasing its capital by selling the company's share to the public.
According to RSS, Nepal is home to around 2,000 species of herbal, medicinal and aromatic plants. The concerned department of the government has verified 819 types of such plants till date. Altogether 300 varieties of plants are being used commercially. Among them, the company has been trading in 13 types of aromatic and essential oil-based products, shared General Manager Karki.
According to a report, the demand for the aromatic and essential oils in the global market amounts to US$ 17.2 billion. The demand is expected to increase by 7.5 per cent annually till 2027, RSS reported adding that Nepal had exported aromatic oil worth USD 5 million in 2015 which is 0.02 per cent of the global demand.
"Looking at this statistics, Nepal has much possibility of herbal production and processing. There is high demand of herbal oil and products in the international market. Therefore, we are working towards establishing the company as one of the established companies in the whole of South Asia in terms of production of essential oils and herbal products," he said.
General Manager Karki shared that the company was moving ahead towards raising the socio-economic condition of the poor and low-income people by creating maximum jobs while implementing the internationally-established good practices in sustainable harvesting of herbs, their cultivation, processing, production and sale and distribution.
The government had provided Rs 180 million to the company last year for achieving its objectives, RSS reported. This amount was received for investment as per the business plan submitted to the Finance Ministry by General Manager Karki via the Ministry of Forests and Environment. The business plan focuses on the company's development, expansion and its structural reform.
Out of the amount provided by the government, Rs 80 million is in the form of loan.
The company has the target of annual transaction equivalent to Rs 1 billion after the business plan comes into full operation.