KATHMANDU, June 4: The Federation of Nepal Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI) is organizing 30th Nepal Cottage and Small Industrial Expo from June 5.
The slogan of the five-day expo is 'Open Industries for Economic Growth, Let's Unite for Industrialization'. The expo will feature 200 stalls of micro and small entrepreneurs from all 77 districts of Nepal.
Organizing a press meet on Monday, Shyam P Giri, president of FNCSI, said that they were trying to have at least one entrepreneur from each district in the expo. "We are expecting transactions worth around Rs 50 million and some 150,000 visitors," he added.
The organizers giving a pavilion each to all provinces. The expo will also feature women entrepreneurship exhibition. "We will also be awarding best entrepreneur," he added.
The expo is being organized in collaboration with the Cottage and Small Industry Development Committee, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Nepal Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal, the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprise, and National Micro Entrepreneurs Federation Nepal.
According to government data, 418,052 cottage and small industries have been registered across the country. Of them, only 299,311 are renewing their enterprises regularly.
“Before the Industrial Enterprise Act 2016 came into force, there was no provision for cottage industries. The act has defined and set criteria for micro and small enterprises," Giri said, adding that 150,000 cottage enterprise and 90,000 small industries are in operation across the country.
“Regardless of what the government data says, our study shows that there are around 500,000 cottage enterprises across the country. This means there are around 700,000 cottage and small enterprises," he said.
According to the organizers, cottage and small industries have provided direct employment to
26,686 people. They also claimed that about 70% of country's total exports are produced by cottage and small industries.
"The government needs to support and diversify cottage and small enterprises to make the country self-reliant and reduce widening trade deficit," Giri added.
Meanwhile, the federation has given mixed reaction on programs introduced for small and cottage industries in the budget for upcoming fiscal year – FY2019/20.
“Though the finance minister has mentioned that the government will promote around 24 products so that the country becomes self-reliant in terms of those products, there are no concrete programs mentioned for the purpose,” Giri said, adding: "To increase production of small and cottage industries, the government should fix minimum wage for laborers, provide technical assistance through foreign investments and provide grants to upscale production capacity of these enterprises."