NFC, NTL to diversify business to be competitive in market after merger

Published On: August 1, 2019 04:45 AM NPT By: Nikeeta Gautam

Merged entity to operate fair price ships in all provinces, build business complexes in major cities

KATHMANDU, Aug1: The government is hiring a team of experts for incorporation of a new company after merger of its two entities – National Trading Limited (NTL) and Nepal Food Corporation (NFC).

The team will consist of civil engineer, agriculture experts, and financial expert who will recommend the government to build necessary infrastructure, suggest products that the company should deal with and prepare business modality as well as budget, among others.

The name of the company will be Food Management and Trading Company Ltd.

“We need to discuss the matter with our board of directors first. Once our proposal is approved by the board, we will invite bids to hire the team of experts," Yogendra Gauchan, director general of NFC, said. "The selected team will conduct study in all provinces and do market survey for the new company."

According to Gauchan, representatives of Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development will be in the board of the proposed company.

"We could have taken decision on ad-hoc basis to incorporate the new company. But we decided to go in a planned manner so that future activities of the new company become sustainable," said Gauchan.

"At the moment, we are in the process of registering the company with the authorities concerned," Sharmila Neupane Subedi, the information officer at NFC, told Republica.

According to Subedi, the company will operate at least 14 fair price shops in all seven provinces of the country. “We will operate at least one fair price shop in each province. The number of shops will depend on the population of the provinces,” she said. "Though the company will provide discounts during special occasions like Dashain, Tihar and Chhath only, regular price of products in the fair price shops will be lower than the existing market price."

She further added that the proposed company will also build business complex in cities like Kathmandu, Biratnagar and Pokhara. "Being a government entity, the main focus of the proposed company will be on providing daily commodities to consumers at reasonable prices. As we will need dependable source of income to operate fair price shops, we will be operating business complexes in major cities," Subedi added.

Along with diversification of business areas, the NFC will also digitize its internal management system once the merged entity is ready for business. “All our accounts are maintained manually so far. The proposed company will procure software to digitize its operations," she said, adding that NFC started used software for human resources management from the current fiscal year.

Director General Gauchan said that the new company should be strong and capable enough of competing with the private sector. "It should be powerful enough to intervene in the market in case private sector resort to artificial price hike by hoarding commodities," he added.

The NFC has 370 staff members at the moment, while the NTL has already got rid of its workforce.

“We will also be doing an Organization and Method (O&M) survey to hire new staff for new projects once the merger process is completed," Subedi added.

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