KATHMANDU, May 17: With the signs of improvement in industrial environment of the country, the attraction to set up new industries in Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bhairahawa is growing in recent months. Smooth supply of electricity, incentives and facilities offered by the government, and stable political environment have encouraged businesspeople to open industrial enterprises in SEZ.
The over-subscription of slots in SEZ indicates the growing attraction in Bhairahawa SEZ. While the applications seeking slots in the Bhairahawa SEZ was nearly half than the number of offered plots earlier, the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) received applications higher than the plots up for grabs.
“The number of applications for plots is higher than what we have offered in the latest notice,” said Chandika Prasad Bhatta, executive director of SEZA, said. “The plots would be offered to export-based industries through competition,” he added.
Out of 69 plots in Bhairahawa SEZ, 38 have been already occupied by various industries. The SEZA has sought applications for remaining 31 plots for manufacturing industries. SEZA has received 38 applications for remaining 31 plots as at May 9, according to Bhatta.
He said that the SEZA will sign formal agreement with the eligible industries after short-listing them within 15 days.
Most of the applicants are interested to open plants to produce footwear, cement, steel and pipe.
The growing attraction to set up industries in SEZ in recent months is attributed to uninterrupted energy supply, incentives and benefits provided by the government, no need for land acquisition, and political stability in the country.
Bhatta told Republica that the collective commitment made by political parties from various forums in recent time has also boosted confidence of industrialists to set up manufacturing plants.
SEZA had sought application from interested tenants even before the government prepared SEZ Act and related bylaws. However, the SEZ Act and related bylaws have now been enacted, making the legal process more clear for industries to set up their plants.
“There was a lack of laws and bylaws earlier. Now, the SEZ Act and related bylaws have been enacted, making the legal process simple for those interested to set up industries in SEZ,” added Bhatta.
The government adopted the concept of SEZ to attract foreign and national investments to establish industrial and business units that help to increase the country's exports.
Internal road, electricity, water supply, sewage system, petrol pump, weighing bridge, security, waste water treatment plant, among others, are the infrastructures available in SEZ.
Similarly, industrial units in SEZ can enjoy one-door policy for services starting from registration of enterprise to tax payment. High land prices outside SEZ have also encouraged investors to set up industrial units in SEZ where rent and other costs are comparatively cheaper.
SEZA charges rental fee of Rs 20 per square meter per month for industries opened in Bhairahawa SEZ.