May 6: The government is making preparations to reopen the industries that have been closed due to the lockdown on priority basis.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekhraj Bhatta said that preparations are underway to open these industries in three phases on priority basis.
Speaking at an interaction program organised in the capital by the society of economic journalists of Nepal (SEJON) on Tuesday (May 5), Minister Bhatta said priority will be given to the industries producing daily essential food items in the first phase. The government is planning to open industries supporting development and construction works in the second phase followed by export-based industries in the third phase.
Minister Bhatta also added that the ministry is constantly holding discussions with trade unions and industrialists to ease the process of re-opening the industrial sector.
“Kathmandu is not considered a red zone. But there is high risk here due to the population density,” said Minister Bhatta.
He further said that the government has conducted a study to classify industrial sector into red, yellow and green zones and will be allowed to operate according to the classification.
A cabinet meeting today (May 6) will take a decision to this effect, according to the minister.
A meeting of the High Level Coordination Committee to Prevent Coronavirus on Tuesday had recommended the government to extend the lockdown by a week.
“We are coordinating with the agriculture and finance ministries to create job opportunities,” he said.
“We have decided to operate dysfunctional industries in Public Private Partnership model while the small and medium scale enterprises as well as industrial estates would be allowed to operate on priority basis,” he added.
These programmes would be included in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year as well as the government’s policies and programmes, informed Minister Bhatta.