KATHMANDU, Dec 10: The private sector has expressed its concern over the growing threats for extortion collection that entrepreneurs have been facing in recent days.
In a meeting with Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday, members of the newly-formed working committee of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) - an umbrella organization of the Nepali private sector - said they have been receiving complaints of extortion from entrepreneurs mainly operating their business in the districts outside the Valley.
“According to industrialists, in the past few months, they have been pressurized either to provide the extortion amount or close their businesses,” said FNCCI President Shekhar Golchha. According to Golchha, the entrepreneurs are being threatened to meet the demand or else face closure of their businesses. He, however, did not disclose the identity of the group asking for the unlawful payments.
The FNCCI in its press release has stated that the degradation of the business environment has taken down the willpower of the entrepreneurs to continue their businesses. Golchha urged the government to take necessary steps on time to keep intact the confidence of the business fraternity.
Recently, the government also accepted an increasing security threat triggered by the activities of the Netra Bikram Chand-led group. Last year, the government imposed a ban on the rebel group. In the wake of the situation, a meeting of the Central Security Committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs held on Tuesday also decided to review the activities of the ‘revolutionaries’ and ‘royalists’.
In the meeting, FNCCI also drew the attention of the government to the crippled economic condition of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic.