Govt to protect property of six firms from auctioning
KATHMANDU, August 1: The government has decided not to auction properties of six industries that have applied to be treated as sick industries for another six months as they are under-study to ascertain if they are actually sick.
According to Surya Kant Jha, under secretary at the Ministry of Industry (MoI), the government has proceeded to stop auctioning the property of Birat Leather Industries Limited, Birat Shoes Company Limited, Everest Floriculture Private Limited, Nepal Boards Limited and Siris Herbal Company Limited.
“These companies have applied to be treated as sick industries and we have requested NRB not to auction their property,” Jha told Republica on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the ministry is processing forward a request to the NRB not to auction property of the Dolphin Manor Wildlife Resort. “In last two weeks, 28 different firms have applied to be treated as sick industries,” Jha said. “However, only six firms out of total 28 have requested for protection from bank´s action.”
The ministry, which is entrusted to provide ´relief package to the sick industries´ has formed a technical team a couple weeks ago to study the actual situation of the industries which have applied to be treated as sick.
“It will take around six months to complete the whole process of study,” Jha said. “Till then we have decided not to auction the property of those firms.” The government, however, has not finalized the criteria to identify the industries which are actually sick. “We have asked for certain information of the firms. The first phase of study will be based on that information. Only then we will go for field study of the industries,” Jha disclosed.
The ministry has asked for Rs 2.6 million from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to conduct the field study of the industries. “The technical team that has been formed in the ministry has the ultimate right to decide whether the industry is sick or not,” Jha said.
However, the ministry has not received any response from the NRB and MoF regarding its request. “I think the NRB and MoF will be positive about it since both of them were in the high level 8-member Sick-Industries Rehabilitation High-Level Task Force (SIRHLTF) under the leadership of Dipendra Bahadur Kshetry, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC), which prepared a report with recommendation to revive the sick industries.
Interestingly the government, formed around a dozen of different committees , in last 10 years to study and uplift the situation of sick-industries in the country. All of them recommended what should be done but none of them precisely defined the criteria for sick-industries. The situation of sick industries is same now as it was in 1994 -- when the first committee was formed to restore the situation of sick industries.