KATHMANDU, May 24: The Government of Nepal has decided to implement a ‘Prime Minister Nepali Production and Promotion Program’ with the goal to increase domestic production. The government, which is preparing the budget for the coming fiscal year 2022/23, is going to include new programs in its policies and programs.
According to the Ministry of Industry, new programs have been introduced to reduce trade deficit, protect indigenous industries and increase productivity. The framework of this program was prepared by Nepali Congress General Secretary and lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa.
Thapa said that the program was decided in consultation with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to increase domestic production for the economic prosperity of the country. He informed Republica that the new program has been formulated to reduce trade deficit, protect indigenous industries and increase production.
In order to reduce the trade deficit in the program, textile, footwear, agriculture and food, forest products, herbs and medicines, construction and handicraft production have been given priority. "We have prepared the program in consultation with the prime minister," Thapa said. "We believe it will help reduce the growing trade deficit and increase industrial production and employment," he said.
He said that the program was prepared in consultation with the prime minister and would be included in the government’s policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year. The Ministry of Finance will allocate a budget for that. Although the project is in the name of the Prime Minister, it will remain under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
The main objectives of the program are to increase domestic and foreign investment in productive sectors, innovation in small and medium enterprises, increase in vocational employment, market expansion of Nepali products, and increase production and consumption through value chain development.
According to Thapa, a mechanism will be set up under the Ministry of Industry to look into the program. The program is aimed at increasing production of developing industries in Nepal to replace the growing imports. The government plans to promote it as a national campaign. Development of physical infrastructure, business facilitation, developing competitive skills, increasing access to new technologies will also move ahead under the program.
Furthermore, Thapa said that discussions have been held with the Ministry of Industry and the finance ministry as they both also play a major role in the success of the program. “We need to facilitate some time to encourage export promotion. The role of the finance ministry is important for that,” Thapa said.
It has been proposed to carry out timely strategic promotion through tax and customs duty exemption and export subsidy as well as to provide competitive skill development, business facilitation, construction of common physical infrastructure, access to new technology and internalization and simplifying the process.