9 Manseer, Kathmandu. In the financial year 2049/050, 606 industries were established in Nepal in the same year. According to the Industries Department, out of the total investment of Rs 1.541 billion, 89,391 people will get employment in one go. According to the department, the total number of industries opened in a year about 29 years ago is the highest in the history of Nepal.
The department has no record of opening 600 or more industries in Nepal in any year since then. In the long history of 85 years of establishment of industries in Nepal, the total number of industries has reached 8 thousand 454 by the end of the financial year 2077/78. However, examining the data reveals that there is no special environment for opening of industries in Nepal before and after the financial year 2049/050.
Industrial development is an essential condition for making the country self-reliant, generating employment and making the country prosperous through exports. However, the government’s details have filled Nepal’s industrial development with gloom.
Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Dr. Bishwa Poudel, says that looking at the details of Nepal’s industrial development, the current situation is ridiculed from 29 years ago. Secretary Madhu Kumar Marasini also believes that the contribution of the industrial sector to the GDP is decreasing.
National Planning Commission member Dr. Ram Kumar Fuyal says that the industrial development of Nepal can be shown from the standard industry status that Nepal has started celebrating Industry Day.
Fuyal says, “We celebrate the establishment of the Biratnagar Jute Mill, the mother of Nepalese industry, on 26 November as a historical standard, but what is the status of the jute mill now?”
29 years ago and now
In the last 29 years, many big changes have happened in the world. Nepal has also witnessed many changes in the field of politics, communication, infrastructure, education, but the backbone of the country’s economic development, the establishment and operation of industry in this 29 year period, Nepal’s journey seems to be on a downhill.
In the financial year 2049/050 when 606 industries were established, the employment was 77 thousand 558 more than the total number of industries registered in 2077/78. In 2049/050, 514 manufacturing industries were opened in Nepal, an increase of 444 over the previous year. The condition of the industrial sector is dismal during these 29 years, not only in the number and nature of industries and employment generation but also in investment.
Similarly, in 2077/78 when 203 industries were set up with an investment of Rs 15 billion, three decades ago, three times more industries were opened at the cost of Rs. Experts say that the investment in the industry of Rs 15 billion then and Rs 15 billion now will be weaker than before in terms of time.
According to the department industrial establishments and investments showing some improvement around 2069/70 have been sluggish for some years.
where is the mistake
According to Bharatraj Acharya, an industrialist, the development of industry in Nepal began at the same time as the countries that emerged as industrial superpowers in the world. Looking at the early stages of the establishment of the industry, he says that the early stages of Japan, China, India and Nepal are similar in the same phase.
“Whether those countries went from one phase to another or were the beginnings the same and the peak period of industrial development in countries other than Nepal is seen every 20 years,” Acharya said.
Acharya further says that from 1950 to the present, the initial study of these countries has been saying the same thing.
According to Finance Secretary Madhu Prasad Marasini, economic and industrialization has resulted from the misuse of economic liberalization adopted by Nepal after the multi-party system. He said that the contribution of this sector is declining at a time when the contribution of industry to domestic production, employment generation and GDP growth is increasing and the country is making a prosperous country.
“We have failed to make good use of liberalization in national industry and production. We have made a habit of importing others instead of working hard, which affected the industrial production of the whole country,’ said Secretary Marasini. He said that It is sad that the contribution of many sectors is weakening except for a few limited ones like Dhaka in Palpa.
Acharya says that the government has not played an adequate role to protect Nepal’s industrial development. Claiming that entrepreneurship has so far survived because of the efforts of the private sector alone, Acharya said, “the state should address it through its behavior and policy.”
Stating that those involved in the industry are not ready to invest in any other industry, he said the issues of double, triple and unscientific taxes should be addressed to bring down the rising production cost.
They claim that industrialization has become more sluggish and weak due to adverse conditions of entry and exit of industry. He accused the state of not protecting the industry as the national capital did to save the industry created by the industrialists.
Sushil Bhatt, executive director of Investment Board, says that even if there is some improvement in the development of industrial environment for the economic recovery of the country, it is not enough. He says that there are still obstacles in the process and coordination of investment in industry or business.
“As the venture struggles to attract investment, it will affect the overall results,” Bhatta said. He said there is still a problem of access to infrastructure and land ownership of industry.
Poudel, deputy chairman of the National Planning Commission, says that the industrial development of the country will not be possible due to the need to join hands for opening, closing and coordinating industries.
Stating that it is sad that the country is in a state of weaker industrial development than it was 29 years ago, he said, “Let’s create an environment conducive to industry as much as possible.”
The main reason for the opening of many industries in 2049/050 is to create a legal and practical environment for those willing to come, he said, adding that there is now a sinister trend of carteling. According to Paudel, the ‘policy lobbying’ of an established industrialist in one area is appalling.
‘If the bank stops other banks from coming in, the hotels stop the new hotels from coming, then when will the industry flourish? We are failing,” he said. In this we have to feed workers or political level with little convenience of industry and industrialists. How can we improve the way forward?
He stressed that no one should have an undue role in opening and closing industries.
Secretary Marasini is of the opinion that the work done by the government in the revival after Covid can once again pave the way for industrial development. He said that interest subsidy, increase in the scope of local subsidies, increase in credit to borrowers and concessional credit facilities should be linked to the development of the industry by making them useful in the struggling economy. He said that the private sector should take the lead by creating infrastructure like SEZs and industrial areas created by the government.
Stating that the industrialization of India and China has jumped from such infrastructure, Marcini said that we have achieved nothing. He said that the country’s industrial development cannot be achieved only through large investments and industries, adding that learning from Japan’s example should be linked to the development of small and domestic and innovative industries.
Vishwa Paudal, Deputy Chairman of the National Planning Commission, suggested that the state should pay special attention to import substitution and indigenous goods. He said that import substitution and any kind of policy instability should not be allowed in the name of expansion of the industry. Vice President Poudel also stressed on the need to create a conducive environment for industrialists to bring in raw materials from all over the world.
Shashil Bhatt, Executive Director of the Investment Board, now emphasizes the need for undertaking industrial development programs in private-government partnerships.
Industries Secretary Arjun Kumar Pokharel says that if the private sector pays more attention to the use of industrial infrastructure created by the government, there will be a lot of improvement.