KATHMANDU, July 7: The government has included five more items — tea, electricity wire and conductor, footwear, zinc sheets and paints — in the lists of the potential goods in which Nepal is being self-reliant.
According to a report recently unveiled by the Department of Industry (DoI), it has reached the conclusion following a study of 75 sample industries producing these goods. These goods have been found sustaining the livelihood of thousands of workers and their families.
The study shows there are 146 tea estates and 14,014 small tea farmers in the country. The export of domestic tea per year is around 11,185 tons while the imports account for 218 tons annually. It shows that the country’s export of tea is around 50 times bigger than the import volume.
Similarly, there are 25 industries manufacturing electric cables and conductors. They are being operated at only 40 percent of their production capacity due to low domestic demand. “As the import of these products is very nominal at present, the existing industries could easily meet the market demand that is expanding at 13 percent annually,” reads the DoI report.
In the footwear segment, six large-scale manufacturers, 15 medium-size industries, 300 small industries and 1,200 micro enterprises are in operation. These industries have been utilizing 40 percent of their capacity. DoI says appropriate government policies could enhance the market of these domestic products despite being based mostly on imported raw materials.
The five zinc sheet factories in the country have been utilizing 63.3 percent of their production capacity. The domestic demand for the product is growing at 7.3 percent annually.
Likewise, the capacity utilization of the paints industry is only 59 percent. While products of these industries currently fulfill 90 percent of the domestic demand, a suitable government policy can help replace the imported products completely.
According to the DoI, as of now, Nepal is self-reliant in sugar, cement, iron rod, selected types of medicines, milk, meat products, bricks, green vegetables, furniture and soaps, among others.