August 9: The government, in the current fiscal year’s budget, has stated that the Hetauda Textile Industry will be brought into operation in a suitable format. Arrangements will be made for people holding public positions to wear clothes produced by the Hetauda Textile Industry.
In the budget statement of the last fiscal year too, it was also mentioned that proposals will be invited to run the Hetauda Textile Industry in partnership with the private sector. However, both these announcements are not new. The government made efforts to run this industry in the fiscal year 2008/09. However, the government backed off from its plan to operate the industry citing reasons including lack of money to import cotton.
After four years of attempt to run the industry, the cabinet meeting on January 15, 2013 decided to halt the plan to reopen Hetauda Textile Industry Limited. For the last few years, the government has again pledged to reopen the textile industry.
The government, despite failing to reopen the industry for more than a decade, now has announced that it will operate the textile industry in an appropriate format this year and make arrangements for civil servants to use the clothes produced by the same industry.
It is speculated that the latest announcement will also be limited to the papers as the announcement was made without adequate preparation.
Although the government has announced to open the industry which has remained closed since the last two decades (2000), the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies and the Industrial Area Management Limited (IDM) are not much active in terms of operational modality, technology and investment required for the industry. The Ministry of Industry had entrusted the project to IDM.
The government's share of investment in IDM is expected to come from the assessment of the building and other physical infrastructure of the industry. Even though the industry was handed over to IDM for almost a decade with the government's shares intact, the IDM has not tried to revive the industry. Instead, the IDM is involved in expanding and announcing new industrial areas. The government had formed study committees at different times to operate the ailing industries.
Former Secretary Deepak Subedi, who is also the coordinator of the study committee formed two years ago, says that the Hetauda Textile Industry can be operated.
"You don't need to do much for this. If you fulfil an handful of works, you can run the industry in a way that makes a profit," said Subedi adding, "The latest technology and equipment, good management system, and experienced people will be enough to run the industry rather than political appointments."