27th July, Kathmandu. The government and the Federation of Commerce and Industry signed the ‘Public-Private Partnership Campaign for Economic Transformation’ on Thursday.
The MoU between the Ministry of Industries, Commerce and Supplies and the federation was signed by Shekhar Golcha, president of the federation and joint secretaries Narayan Sharma Duvadi and Gobind Bahadur Karki, on behalf of the ministry of industries, commerce and supplies.
Perhaps for the first time, such an agreement between the government and the private sector will increase cooperation in each other’s programs for economic development and industrial environment, claim experts.
According to the federation’s president, Golch, the agreement will realize the vision 2030 laid out by the federation. It will also support programs launched by the government. In his speech before signing the MoU, he also said that this agreement will help in making the action plan a success to reach a $100 billion economy in the next 8 years i.e. by 2030.
We have identified 10 priority sectors and 100 jobs through understanding. If we can do these things, we can create 2.2 million new jobs in the formal private sector.
We have reproduced an edited part of the speech delivered by President Golcha at the MoU signing event held here on Thursday.
The deal will help the economy reach $100 billion in 8 years
We have gathered at a very important event where I will take over the office of the President of the Association of Industry and Commerce. Today’s program is also a special day for the entire private sector of Nepal. Today we are going to give meaning to the commitment shown by the government to cooperate with the private sector, a major pillar of the state, which is also mentioned in our constitution through the Memorandum of Understanding.
On behalf of the private sector, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supply for trusting us and giving us this opportunity. With the contribution of this ministry and government bureaucracy towards public private partnership, we have now realized that Nepal’s bureaucracy is very liberal, transparent, result oriented and private sector friendly. We expect similar cooperation and goodwill from the Planning Commission, other ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Today’s agreement will basically do two things. We will support the implementation of the National Economic Transformation 2030 announced by us and the policies adopted by the government for the industry and commerce sector. For this a steering committee will be formed. The Secretary of Industries and the President of Nepal Industry and Commerce Association will preside over the said committee.
In addition, an implementation committee will also be formed. The implementation committee will be coordinated by the head of the Investment Promotion Division of the Ministry. Both these committees will include representatives and experts from other private sector organizations. In today’s 15 days, we will be able to prepare a blueprint for the implementation of the programs mentioned in this year’s budget. When has the work started?
For example, we may finalize the start-up policy within a maximum of one month. In the context that Nepal is going to progress from a Least Developed Country, an upgrade strategy will be drawn up. We are going to sit with the ministry and finalize three of the eight out of 14 laws that have been drafted as suggestions by the federation. We will work out the feasibility of project loans for small and medium enterprises.
These are jobs under NET 2030. NET 2030 is very close to my heart. We have prepared it with great effort. It has an action plan to bring the economy to $100 billion by 2030. For this we have identified 10 priority sectors and 100 jobs. If we can do these things, we can create 2.2 million new jobs in the formal private sector. Now I would like to discuss a little about why we prepared the vision paper. I was becoming the president of a union with a very proud history.
I had spent almost two decades in the federation. We were fighters. We used to argue a lot with the government about our demands. We used to do different programs. We had the trust of the government and other stakeholders and still are.
We were part of a great and glorious period of the Chamber campaign. We saw various problems from the political instability of the country. At that time, the federation had presented its role with great care.
After the constitution, we entered the next stage. There was a wish for prosperity in the country. We weren’t always in a position to lag behind. It was to find a way to prosperity and progress. But I think there is some confusion somewhere.
I felt from within that the private sector should play a leading role in this journey of progress. Being 75 per cent of the country’s investments, a need was felt for proper distribution and management of the country’s wealth and economic benefits.
Meanwhile, the whole world has come under the grip of Corona pandemic. We were imprisoned inside the house. Our economic and social ties were disrupted. Due to Corona, my tenure has become about 8 months.
Then I realized there was a need for more economic transformation programs. Not many criticized what they were trying to do in such times. But I got strong support from the officials and the working committee. Now we are with me. Our from me The vision paper of the Federation was prepared. The board approved it.
However, the paper is done, what to do with the implementation. Such papers are specifically designed in partnership with donor agencies. This was perhaps the first document from the private sector that prepared the roadmap for the country’s ten-year development. However, implementation was challenging. Still we were working from our level. Since we are not an implementing body, it is incomplete when we work alone. After today’s signature, we are now associated with the government. Now we have become federation and government together. In other words, we are working closely with the private sector and the government.
When we are, we can do more. Now the federation has become more active. Now it has become easier for the private sector. I said in the last general body meeting of the federation, we invest, we make the process easy. We produce, not disrupt. We provide jobs, we provide facilities. We export, we encourage. We bring tourists, welcome. We collect revenue, not insult.
Today I want to say the same thing, let us all make the process of investment easier, produce together, create jobs together, welcome tourists, eliminate the hassle of paying taxes. Let’s respect the right of the private sector to do business with dignity. I also request the office bearers of the federation and the working committee members present here, now we have participated in this process. Let’s move forward together, find a solution to the problem. There will now be a permanent mechanism for discussion on our issues, which will find a way to resolve many issues. The Implementation Committee will incorporate suggestions from the private sector and bring them to the policy level. It can also be understood as a kind of Industrial Consultative Committee. We call it a campaign. It is a public private sector partnership campaign for economic transformation. Let’s take part in it. The road is not easy yet. The cost of capital has increased greatly. Banks are saying that they do not have money even for the increased interest.
I told the banks that when the havoc of Corona increased, let’s fight the risk together. But now it seems, the risk has shifted only on us. We are both fellow travelers in the private sector. If the business does not flourish, not only the bank but also the government can be in danger. So let’s solve this together. Let us also lay siege to opportunity. The government should also spend wisely. This reduces the scarcity of money in the market. Now the government and we have come together. Let’s come together to facilitate business.