Don't put assets of sick industries under the hammer, NRB told
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, July 16: In a bid to protect sick industries, the government has requested Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) to not allow commercial banks to auction off assets and collaterals pledged by them.
According to a high-level official at the Ministry of Industry (MoI), the ministry sent a letter to this connection to the central bank a couple of days ago.
In the letter, the ministry has requested NRB to not let commercial banks auction off assets of sick industries until the government implement special packages promised to them.
“We are in the process of identifying sick industries,” the official said, adding, “We have requested NRB to stop auctioning off of their property as per the request of those industries.”
The official said the ministry sent a letter to the central bank following strong pressure from some industrialists. He, however, refused to disclose the name of the industrialists.
The industry ministry, which is entrusted to implement programs to revive sick industries, has formed a technical committee to study and finalize the actual number of sick industries in the country.
“The technical committee issued a public notice last week, asking all the industries to register if they term themselves ´sick´,” the official told Republica.
The industries have to register their names by the end of this month. The committee will then study the actual situation of those industries.
According to the official, the ministry formed sick industries unit and the technical committee after the cabinet approved the report of the high-level task force that was formed to revive and rehabilitate sick-industries about seven months back.
Meanwhile, the ministry has requested Rs 2.6 million from the finance ministry for the technical committee.
The government has announced slew of relief measures for sick industries like tax waiver, extension of bank loan repayment date, bank loan restructuring and interest amount waiver among others. Industrialists have been pressing the government for early implementation of relief measures.
“We hope banks won´t auction off assets of any industry until we finalize the list of sick industries and publish their names in the gazette,” the official said.