Bankers, industrialists form panel to study interest rate issues


Kathmandu, May 12

Industrialists and bankers have agreed to form a joint committee to study interest rate issues raised by the private sector.

During a discussion between Nepal Bankers’ Association and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry today, representatives of both the institutions agreed to form a joint committee to study interest rate issues, prepare a report and implement the recommendations of the report.

The committee comprises Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Bank Janak Sharma Poudel, Chief Risk Management Officer of Sanima Bank Nischal Pandey and CEO of NBA Anil Sharma. Two representatives of the private sector will also be included in the committee soon.

The country’s private sector has been demanding that interest rates on loans be brought down notably and subsidised loan facility be provided to businesses at low interest rates.

Businesses are also complaining that banks are even reluctant to implement directions issued by the Nepal Rastra Bank amid the lockdown, including the direction to bring down interest rates by two percentage points and provide 10 per cent subsidy on interest if businesses repay loans and interests during the lockdown.

The business community has primarily been seeking interest rates on loans to be brought down by at least five percentage points as businesses are struggling to sustain amid the crisis.

“The virtual meeting between NBA representatives and industrialists concluded that both businesses and the banking sector should work in a collaborative manner to tackle the challenges created by COVID-19.

The meeting discussed a wide range of issues regarding the economy in the present context and a possible way forward,” said Sharma, who is the chief executive officer of the NBA.

According to him, an understanding was reached to form a joint committee to study the impact of the novel coronavirus disease on businesses and the efforts that both the banking sector and businesses should put in to tackle the crisis.

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