Business float seven-point agenda to government for export promotion
KATHMANDU, June 12: Amid prolonging political instability and slowing exports, businesses have floated a seven-point common agenda including more incentives to exporters and favorable business environment in the country to boost the exports.
A team of business entrepreneurs representing around one and half dozen associations of exporters led by Uday Raj Pandey, executive member of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) met Finance Minister Basra Man Pun to appraise him of their agenda on Tuesday.
The delegation also drew attention of minister Pun toward the adverse impact of frequent bandas, strikes, labor unrest as well as weak law and order situation in export industries.
The delegation suggested that the government give continuity to the existing cash incentives to exporters who are earning convertible foreign currencies by simplifying the incentive distribution process.
“We demanded that government provide at least 2 percent of the export amount as incentive to exporters upon submission of the receipts of foreign currency. If any exporter wants to claim additional cash incentive as already provisioned by the government the process to get the incentives should be simplified,” said Pandey, who is also the president of Garment Association of Nepal (GAN).
The exporters have also asked the government to make provision to entertain the earning of Indian rupees for cash incentives purposes.
“We also demanded that government make trading firms eligible for export incentives,” said Pandey. As per the existing provision only the industrial entrepreneurs can get the export incentives.
Similarly, exporters had also suggested the government waive export duty to enhance the competitive capacity of Nepali agriculture produces.
Given the rising cost of production of Nepali products, the exporters also demanded the government to arrange loan to entrepreneurs on five percent interest rate.
Voicing concern over frequent labor disputes and unrest in the industrial enterprises, business people also asked the government to ensure the provision of social security for workers, Hire and Fire, No Work No Pay system in coming Labor Act which is under discussion among the stakeholders.
“We suggested such crucial provisions for upcoming amendment of existing Labor Act to ensure smooth functioning of industrial enterprises through good labor relation,” said Pandey.
The seven-point demands also include immediate endorsement of Export Promotion Zone Act through ordinance to create favorable environment for export-based industries. “We also urged the government to strengthen the economic diplomacy to accelerate the growth of export through expansion of international market for Nepali products,” he added.
The delegation also sought government commitment to ensure smooth transportation of exportable goods and provision of compensation in case of loss during the strikes and other industrial unrest in the country.
“The government has to create a conducive environment for industrial activity and exports with annual export target of at least Rs 100 billion for next couple of years at a time when our export is hovering at around Rs 60-65 billion amid sharply increasing imports,” he added.
Minister Pun assured the government would put export promotion as top priority keeping in mind the agenda raised by the business community.