Govt to harmonize internal trade with supply system
BHOJ RAJ POUDEL
KATHMANDU, Aug 19: The government is preparing final draft of Internal Trade Policy (ITP) that envisages boosting local trade activities by harmonizing with the existing Supply Policy.
The proposed policy is largely aimed at better serving the interests of consumers through development of well-managed local markets along with unhindered supply system.
Narayan Prasad Bidari, director general of the Department of Commerce and Supplies Management, said the department has prepared the draft in line with the Supply Policy 2012.
“We have incorporated the norms of supply policy in the draft. We will forward it to the Ministry of Law and Justice through the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies within a couple of weeks,” Bidari told Republica on Sunday.
The draft was worked out by South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) - a Kathmandu-based research organization - on behalf of the department.
The draft envisages improving supplies and facilitating development of wholesale and retails markets of essential goods by strengthening transport connectivity among others.
“We have prepared the draft in such a way that it helps effective implementation of existing supply policy,” said Bidari.
The government has already formulated Trade Policy 2009 that aims at boosting the country´s international trade.
Officials said Internal Trade Policy is crucial at a time when the international markets are becoming increasingly volatile hurting the prospects of Nepal´s foreign trade.
“It is high time we strengthened and managed our internal trade system so as to minimize the impact of changing international market phenomenon,” he added.
Trade experts involved in the preparation of the draft opined that internal trade policy was necessary to boost domestic trading activities as the country´s trade deficit is mounting due to slowing exports.
Nepal´s trade deficit ballooned to Rs 419 billion during fiscal year 2011/12, up from Rs 333 billion recorded in the previous fiscal year.
“The formulation of internal trade policy will be a step forward in drawing attention of the government toward expanding the volume of domestic trade though development of market infrastructure and other facilities,” said an expert.
He said Nepal should learn the importance of domestic market from China which boosted internal consumption in the wake of slowdown in international trade that has been dragging down exports of the world´s second largest economy.