How do you look at current scenario of the government and NRB restricting the import of automobiles?
The government has restricted the import of ICE vehicles for more than 2 months. It is sad to see that the government still looks at the four-wheelers as a luxury rather than a necessity. Automobiles have now become a necessity rather than luxury and directly or indirectly employees more than 10000 people so their lives are getting affected. Automobile taxations are also a huge source of government revenue so its import restrictions mean a decrease in government revenue and spending which impacts the overall economy.
What impact has this decision made on your business? Is this profitable or not?
The government has allowed the import of EVs and restricted the import of ICE vehicles which is a bit of a silver lining for the automobile industry but the lack of retail financing has affected the retail volumes which are slow.
Government citing the decline in the Forex reserve, has introduced policies that list automobiles as a luxury product and has restricted their import? What do you think needs to be done to overcome the issue?
If the country is facing a decline in forex reserves they can assign import quotas and keep the ball rolling rather than bringing a sector of the economy to a near halt. The government can assign a slab based on price to segregate the premium products and restrict their import.
What can be the solution and what should the government and stakeholders do?
The government has to find ways to increase the forex reserves and bring the balance of payment to an equilibrium. The best way to do it is to focus on the export of goods or services in which we have a competitive advantage. Restricting a part of the trade is never good for the economy in the long run.
Does the Nepal government provide any support for electric vehicles? For example low tariffs or additional subsidies. If yes, can you please explain it briefly?
The Nepalese government always talks about promoting alternative energies, especially EVs but it remains limited to talks only. On paper, the policies remain unfavorable. The recent budget is an example of it. The government increased the taxes on EVs having a motor capacity of more than 100 KW. The EVs having a capacity of more than 100 KW are long-range vehicles that could be used for long travels increasing their penetration level in the market. The more long-range EVs are used and promoted, lesser would be the dependence on fossil fuels. So the government should provide subsidies on EVs of more than 100 KW motor power not only for less than 100 KW.