KATHMANDU, Dec 8: The automobile dealers staged a sit-in at Maitighar Mandala on Thursday to protest against the policy adopted by the government that has hampered their business. During the protest organised by NADA Automobiles Association of Nepal, the automobile businessmen said that although the government has lifted the ban on import of vehicles, they are not in a position to sell vehicles due to the policy of the Nepal Rastra Bank.
They have also demanded the government to bring businessmen-friendly policies. The protesting businessmen also warned that the protest will continue until the demands put forward by the automobile dealers are addressed by the government and the Nepal Rastra Bank.
Speaking at the protest, President of NADA Automobiles Association of Nepal Dhurba Bahadur Thapa said that although the government has allowed them to import vehicles, the cash margin should be removed as a 50 percent cash margin required for opening letter of credit (LC) has caused them problems. He urged the government and the Nepal Rastra Bank to reduce the 50 percent cash margin back to the previous limit, and to increase the financing from 50 percent to 80 percent. He said that even if the government decided to allow the import of vehicles, all the regulations that were implemented before banning the imports should be removed.
Thapa said that even if the ban on import of cars has been lifted by the government, no one will buy a car at the current interest rates of banks. President Thapa said that the interest rate is too high that they will have to struggle to sell the vehicles if the banks finance only 50 percent of the total cost. He said that although the import is open, it is not possible to bring vehicles immediately. Thapa further warned that if the government does not address the demands put forth by the automobile dealers through peaceful sit-ins, they will announce further protests. He said that NADA has started a series of movement for the rights of the automobile dealers.
The automobile dealers have demanded arrangement for rescheduling of loans and special concessions on interest rates for the revival of the automobile business, which has been stalled for a long time due to Covid-19 pandemic and the import ban.
Nepal Rastra Bank has been requested to suspend the current Working Capital Loan Guidelines, 2079 for the time being.