June 6: The Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE) has said that its members will not be able to pay the bank installment for six months even after the lockdown is lifted and transportation resumes.
In a telephone conversation with Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank Maha Prasad Adhikari on Friday, Secretary of FNNTE Saroj Sitaula, on behalf of the federation, demanded a waiver of interest on bank loans of at least six installments.
He said that the banks should be instructed to facilitate the transport sector through the monetary policy of NRB, which will be made public in July. Sitaula said that they did not get any facility as the transport sector was delisted from one of the most affected sectors.
“Investment of Rs 1 trillion in the transportation sector is in risk due to the lockdown, of which Rs 800 billion is bank loans,” he said, adding, “Transportation is an area where you work all day and get paid in the evening, so it will take at least six months for the sector to normalize.”
Transportation sector, which was closed for four months last year, has been closed for one month this year after the district administrations imposed prohibitory orders in most parts of the country. According to Sitaula, one million people have lost their livelihood after the closure of transportation system. In addition, he said that the vehicles parked on the road, in the yard and in the garage have started to rust and the engines have started to break down.
Stating that he had informed the Governor and Finance Secretary Shishir Kumar Dhungana about the problems faced by the transportation sector, Sitaula said that the concerned authorities gave positive responses.
NRB Governor Adhikari confirmed that the federation informed them about its problems.
“The federation has requested for relief through monetary policy,” he said, "Before bringing the monetary policy, we will listen to the problems of all sectors and address them as required." In the meantime, he said discussions will be held with all sectors as there is still time left for unveiling the monetary policy.