January 30: Women of Karnali do not have a market to sell their products in. This was the complaint of many women entrepreneurs participating in the interaction programme organised by New Business Age Pvt Ltd and Surkhet Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in Birendranagar on Wednesday (January 29).
Many woman entrepreneurs had a chance to express their grievances at the programme. Krishna Bansi Magar, a local woman entrepreneur, called on the local, provincial and federal governments to introduce a special plan to create a market for goods produced in Karnali. Similarly, another local entrepreneur Maina Gaire highlighted the hassles women face in obtaining loans from banks and financial institutions. Hima Upadhyaya and Savitri Yogi complained of the lack of clarity regarding taxes and the process to pay taxes.
Various authorities present at the interaction programme sought to address some of the concerns raised by the women. Minister for Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Karnali Province Nanda Singh Budha informed that the government was working on drafting a law that would ensure a market for the goods produced by women entrepreneurs. “A ‘Gift House’ will be established in all 10 districts of the province to create a market for locally produced goods,” he said.
Prayag Raj Sharma, non-gazetted officer of Industry and Consumer Protection Directorate, stated that many industries registered under a woman’s name were actually run by men. “Women entrepreneurship cannot flourish until their direct participation in industries is ensured,” he said.
SCCI Vice-President Ganesh Basnet said that the chamber was fully committed to developing women entrepreneurship in the province. “We have been organising training programmes for women at various times,” he said adding, “We are also coordinating with the government to build the capacity of women entrepreneurs.”
Regarding the problems related to obtaining loans, Ram Shankar Subedi, desk chief of the Surkhet branch of Muktinath Bikas Bank, said that the women following proper process would not face any hassles. Similarly, Daman Dhwoj Chhetri, tax officer at the Inland Revenue Office, Surkhet informed that the office was organising awareness programs in coordination with various organisations to educate the entrepreneurs about the tax process.
TP Bhusal, chief reporter of Aarthik Abhiyan Daily (published by New Business Age) and Bal Singh Pokharel, New Business Age’s marketing manager moderated the interaction.
New Business Age has been organizing interaction and training programmes for women entrepreneurs in 10 different industrial cities in coordination with the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI). These programmes are aimed at making the upcoming Business Women Awards as effective as possible. The award is being organized by New Business Age in March.
The title sponsor of the programme is Standard Chartered Bank Limited and it was organized in association with Muktinath Development Bank. FNCCI along with chambers of 10 different districts and Federation of Woman Entrepreneurs' Association of Nepal (FEWAN) are associate partners for the event while Star Hospital is the medical partner. The programme is also supported by Sitaram Gokul Milks, Nimbus Group, Progressive Finance and Reliable Life Insurance.