Industry ministry to reopen defunct state-owned industries

Published On: September 12, 2016 01:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Six such industries will be reived in the first phase: Minsiter Joshi
KATHMANDU, Sept 12: Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi said that the government will reopen all state-owned industries that have remained shut since long.

Releasing a work plan to improve industrial sector in Kathmandu on Sunday, Joshi said that the closed state-run industries will be brought back to life regardless of the reasons that led to their closure. He also said that the government has already started the process to reopen Nepal Drugs Limited which owes more than Rs 1 billion to the government. 

"We will finalize the operation modality of Nepal Drug Limited within few days," added Joshi. 

As per the work plan released on Sunday, the government plans to reopen Nepal Drugs Limited, Birgunj Sugar Factory Limited, Agriculture Equipment Factory Limited, Gorakhkali Rubber Industry, Nepal Metal Company and Butwal Dhago Karkhana Limited in the first phase. 

"The government has made huge investment in these industries. We should not let taxpayers' money go to waste," he said, adding that the government was committed to protest its investment even by reopening these industries in Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

After the political change of 1990, the then Nepali Congress-led government adopted liberal economic policy, privatizing the government-owned industries. However, Joshi, who is also from the same party, on Sunday said that the government would reopen shut industries.

"Now onwards, we will not give controlling stakes in government-owned industries to the private sector," said Joshi.    

However, according to the Annual Performance Review Report of Public Enterprises (PEs)-2017, only 20 PEs out of 37 PEs have made profit. Fourteen PEs are still operating in loss.

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) earned the largest profit among PEs in the last fiscal year.

Similarly, Nepal Telecom, Rastriya Banijya Bank, Dairy Development Corporation (DDC), Nepal Airlines Corporation, Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN), Timber Corporation of Nepal and Nepal Food Corporation also made profit in the review years. However, Herbs Production and Processing Company Limited, Hetauda Cement Industry, Nepal Drugs Limited, Udaypur Cement, Nepal Orind Magnesite, National trading Limited, Janak Shiksha Samagri Kendra Ltd, among others, were in loss.

According to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the country has seen sluggish industrial growth of 2.1 percent over the past 10 years.  As private sector plays crucial role for industrial growth of the country, Joshi's plan to expedite industrial growth by reviving the closed state-owned industries depends on how Joshi will take private sector into confidence.

Govt seeks entrepreneurship plan from public
Minister Joshi also said that the government will collect Letter of Intent (LoI) from general public to open community-based industries in all 75 districts. 

The Ministry will soon seek LoI from general public, asking them select the nature of industry, resource management and their operation plan, among others.

"The government will help anyone interested to open industries. We will provide them seed money, and help them in technological issues on the basis of their entrepreneurship plan," said Joshi.  

Under the work plan, the Ministry of Industry also plans to deploy entrepreneurship motivators in all 75 districts. 

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