KATHMANDU: Economic Digest, a daily morning email digest, is basically a relatable summation of important business news from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries.
Ready to work together with industrialists: Industry Minister Bhatta
In an attempt to listen to the grievances of the private sector, Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Lekh Raj Bhatta has asked the industrialists and entrepreneurs to come up with a more concrete five-year plan for industrial development.
Speaking at a program organized by the Ministry at Pavilion Hall, Durbarmarg, Kathmandu, Minister Bhatta asked the representatives of various organizations working in the industrial sector to come with broad detailed five-year plans so that the collaboration can be made more fruitful in the days to come.
“Unless the entrepreneurs/industrialists and the government know each other and collaborate and cooperate together we can’t progress.” Minister Bhatta said speaking about the significance of such programs entailing the representatives from the industrial sector and the line ministry.
He shed light on the importance of interconnected approach between the small, medium and large scale industries which h the first two become the provider of the resources required for the last one. Moti Lal Dugad, the State Minister at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies opined that such joint sharing of the industrialists and the line ministry bolster the relationship between the entrepreneurs and their regulating and supporting ministry.
“We have resources required for industrialization,” the State Minister said, “what we lack is the willpower, confidence, and commitment to bring out the potentials in abundance.” He hoped that the program would be fruitful in narrowing down the differences and help both parties to work together to materialize the campaign ‘Happy Nepali, Prosperous Nepal.’
The participants of the program expressed openly their concern ranging from the hazards they were facing in re-registration of the industries, registrations, VAT, multiple taxes levied on the industrialist, to the gaps underlying between the words and deeds of the government. “Most of the industrialists are in the status of ‘Wait and See’ due to some confusion underlying in the words and deeds of the government,” Bhawani Rana, the Chairperson of FNCCI said in the program. She hoped that the initiations like calling the entrepreneurs and listening to them will minimize the gap in the future.
Industraliatists Chandra Prasad Dhakal, Chandi Raj Dhakal, Shekhar Golchha, Umesh Prasad Singh, Satish Kumar Mahar, Deepak Shrestha among many others shared the problems paralyzing the industrial sector and requested the government to make conducive environment to help it overcome the crisis. The program was facilitated by Baikuntha Aryal, the Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Yam Kumari Khatiwoda, another secretary at the Ministry had addressed the concerns expressed by the participants.
Dinesh Bhattarai, the Joint Secretary at the Ministry had offered the presentation shedding light on the government efforts to strengthen the industrial sector. All participants thanked the Ministry for the initiation of the interactions with the stakeholders and expected the continuity of such programs in the days to come.
Airline operators offloaded from civil aviation board
The government has come up with a verdict to get rid of representatives of airline operators from the board of directors of Nepal’s civil aviation body to put a stop to the conflict of interest between the operators and the regulator.
The government approved the Ministry of Tourism’s proposal to this effect on Thursday. The draft of the Civil Aviation Bill also proposed that the board of the civil aviation regulator should not include representatives airlines and recommended including airline representatives on the board of another organization that will act as a service provider.
Due to the delay in passing the legislation, some international aviation safety agencies have condemned Nepal’s poor progress in secure air safety. The proposed law is set to replace two on hand acts, the Civil Aviation Act 1959 and the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority Act 1996.
Minister Basnet vows to run ACAP in a new fashion
Minister for Forest and Environment, who is also the Chairman of Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), Shakti Basnet, has promised to run ACAP in a more systematic and revised way. The conservation areas are run in a traditional way despite the country embraced federalism.
Saying that maximum utilization of natural resources would be done for ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis’, Minister Basnet stated that monitoring of the federal and state and the management of the local level is the need of the hour. He viewed that only proper use of natural means and resources would ensure the development of the country. The revenue collected from the tourists, forest and mountaineering should be distributed as per the provision of the Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission.
Janakpur-Jayanagar rail service to resume operations by March
Nepal’s lone surviving train service will carry on operations by March after a five-year break, said the Railway Department. The rail line connects Janakpur in the southeastern plains with Jayanagar across the border of Bihar, in the state of India.
The track is being lengthened from Janakpur and will eventually tie Bardibas. The 69-km Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bardibas railway is being constructed at a cost of Rs10 billion with help from the Indian government. Indian Railway Construction Company built the railway line in three phases—Jayanagar to Kurtha, Kurtha to Bhangaha and Bhangaha to Bardibas. The railway service in Nepal will need approximately 200 employees. The National Assembly recently authorized the Railway Bill.
NRB Deputy Governor Shrestha’s suspension lifted
The suspension of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Deputy Governor Shivaraj Shrestha has been lifted. Shrestha was acquitted by the Cabinet following an investigation against him for alleged involvement in jeopardizing financial stability.
While making public recent Cabinet decisions, Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Baskota said Shrestha has been acquitted of the charges. Shrestha faced charges of assisting private telecommunication operator Ncell in a revenue case at the Supreme Court (SC) and assisting businessman Ajayraj Sumargi before the apex court ordered to release his amount among others.
Nepse crosses 1,300 points
Nepal stock exchange (Nepse) went up by 18 points on Thursday, 17 January 2020. After the initial 18 point boost, Nepse surged another 26 points to reach 1,310.23 points.
NEA starts enhancing its distribution system
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has begun the process of laying underground electric cables in a few locations of the Valley. NEA has aimed to develop the distribution system in the valley by executing the project. The NEA has also expedited preparation works to install smart meters in Kathmandu Valley Nepal is accepting a loan of Rs 12.76 billion from the European Investment Bank to upgrade the electricity distribution system.
The European Investment Bank has also provided the NEA 30 million euros to finance the construction of the Chilime-Trishuli transmission link. The transmission will help to connect 600 MW of clean energy generated from hydropower plants, as well as independent power producers, on the Trishuli River corridor, to Nepal’s national electricity grid.
Revenue collection falls short by Rs 104b in first half
The government failed to meet its revenue collection target for the first half of the current fiscal year by over Rs 100 billion. The statistics from the Financial Comptroller General Office (FCGO) show that the government was only able to collect Rs 433.15 billion by mid-January.
Their target for the period was rs 537 billion. Despite having set a monumental target of a 30 percent growth in the current fiscal year, the revenue collection data shows that revenue only grew by 13 percent. Officials of the Ministry of Finance said that the inability to meet the target was largely due to a reduction in customs revenue collection. The target tax revenue for the fiscal year 2019/20 is more than Rs 1 trillion and in the first six months, only 39 percent of that target was met.
Farmers told to take paddy seed case to court
Farmers who cultivate the Garima variety paddy are expected to take the case to court in order to claim compensation. A DNA test of the seed confirmed that the Garima variety paddy that was supplied to farmers was fake. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development passed on the file to the Department of Commerce, Supplies and Consumer Protection to take action against the seed suppliers as per the Consumers Protection Act, 2075 BS. According to Department Director-General, Netra Parsad Subedi, the farmers will likely have to move to district courts of the concerned districts if they wish to claim compensation. He added that the Department will work with the Ministry and the Seed Quality Control Centre to discuss the matter further and move the case along.
(Compiled and prepared by Swastik Aryal, Akash Shrestha, Nitish Lal Shrestha, Diana Zulkifli)
Economic Digest is a daily morning email digest, basically relatable summations of the most important business news and happenings from Nepal into easy-to-understand summaries. By realizing that readers are faced with a packed calendar, the Institute for Strategic and Socio-Economic Research (ISSR), Nepal’s independent think tank, and Khabarhub — Nepal popular news portal — have joined hands to disseminate news from Nepal by creating news summaries in the form of Economic Digest.