Industries to be reopened
· Butwal Spinning Mill
· Hetauda Textile Factory
· Birgunj Sugar Factory
· Biratnagar Jute Mill
BIRATNAGAR, Sept 25: About a dozen state-promoted manufacturing industries that were shut down over the past one decade will soon come into operations again, said Minister for Industry Anil Kumar Jha.
Jha, who interacted with the press in Biratnagar on Tuesday said that the Ministry of Industry (MoI) has already commenced initiatives whereby it will reopen those industries in phases.
Though his statement contradicts those of senior officials at the Ministry of Finance , Jha said in the first phase, the MoI was preparing to resume operations of Biratnagar Jute Mill (BJM), Butwal Spinning Mill (BSM) and Birgunj Sugar Factory (BSF). “Among those industries too, the MoI is already in the final leg of resuming operations of BJM,” he added.
Though the long-running policy of the government has been to privatize the public enterprises (PEs), Jha disclosed the ministry has been taking initiatives to bring the closed PEs back into operations since a year ago.
“Once BJM comes into operations, we will start processes to reopen other industries as well,” he stated. Biratnagar Jute Mills was closed four years ago.
According to Jha, the government has already approved a proposal of Winsome International Limited -- a Kolkata-based Indian firm -- to restart the operations of the BJM. The firm has been selected for re-operating BJM because it quoted highest price in the bid.
Chairman of the BJM Ashok Pokharel said that the Kolkata based firm quoted Rs 13.5 million every year- the highest price - when the government invited bid for handing over the management of the BJM. A total of three firms from Nepal and India had participated in the bid. Other bidders were Lalwani Jute Bag Industry and Archana Impex from Nepal.
“Once the Mill comes into operations, the government will receive royalty worth Rs 13.5 million every year,” said Jha.
Pokharel said the government was signing the contract with the Indian private firm within a week. The Mill will come into operation before the Dashain festival, he added.
Apart from the manufacturing plant, the Mill also possesses property such as electricity turbine house, railway yard that connects with the Jogbani Railway Station, large warehouses and facilities such as residential quarter for managers.
“The closed industries will be brought back into operations under different models like lease contract to the private sector and cooperatives, among others,” said Jha.
He argued resumption of operations of closed manufacturing industries were important because those still possess huge business potential and also would created employment for thousands of people.
“We know bringing the closed public entities back into operations is a challenging task. But resuming their operations is vital to restore manufacturing climate in the country,” Jha stated. He even said that the government was also arranging additional finances to Janakpur Cigarette Factory, which has remained closed due to cash crunch amid huge losses and liability over the years.
Jha admitted industries in the country were reeling under security concerns. But he blamed the industrialists´ preference to remain quiet and settle the problems individually for the growing security threats.
“We are ready to provide industrial security force, but industrialists themselves are not accepting it,” he stated.