Kathmandu, May 8
Despite the government’s recent decision to allow more than 40 types of industries to operate during the ongoing lockdown by adopting precautionary measures, businesses have remained shut and the market is still closed.
The private sector players have said that they were unable to operate their businesses due to lack of clarity in the government’s decision, insufficient manpower, movement restrictions and disruption in supply of raw materials.
“Though the government announced that certain industries could resume business by adopting necessary safeguards which is a welcome move, a majority of industries are facing problems related to supply of raw materials, problems in vehicular movement and lack of market, among others,” said Bhawani Rana, president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
Among others, lack of raw materials and non-availability of workers are hitting the operation of businesses. “Industries have not been able to import raw materials since long and do not have enough stock. Similarly, industries are also facing shortage of workers as a majority of them have left the valley and even those in the valley are facing problems due to movement restrictions,” added Rana.
The FNCCI said that the government should effectively facilitate businesses and industries in getting necessary passes for vehicles, importing raw materials and ensuring market for industrial products.
“It is imperative to gradually open the market and give momentum to economic activities and the entire economy,” said Satish Kumar More, president of the Confederation of Nepalese Industries.
Along with ensuring favourable environment for businesses and industries to open, More also said that the government should bring in concrete and effective plans through the upcoming budget to ensure sustainability of businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic growth.
With prolonging nationwide lockdown — in force since one-and-a-half months — which had shut economic activities completely, the government a few days ago had decided to continue the lockdown till May 18 while
allowing industries to operate on priority basis.
The government has allowed industries related to food production or processing, dairy, pharmaceuticals, surgical products, health equipment and materials, those producing drinking water, bricks, animal and fish feed, edible oil, sugar, tea, LPG, as well as other manufacturing and production-based industries by adopting necessary precautionary measures against the spread of virus.