Kathmandu: Nepal’s private sector associations have collectively expressed their dissatisfaction over a corruption case filed at the Special Court by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), a constitutional anti-graft body.
The CIAA had filed a case against as many as nine industrialists for extracting more mines than the approved mining scheme.
The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and the Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), on Monday, issued a joint statement, expressing concerns over the negative impact of the move on investment promotion, employment generation and overall development and expansion of the private sector in Nepal.
“Cement industry can be viewed as a model in the area of import substitution. The industry has also a vital role in job creation and revenue. The cases against the industrialists have discouraged the private sector,” reads the statement.
Following the earthquake, Nepal had imported cement worth Rs 11/70 billion, Rs 26/10 billion, and Rs 31.70 billion in the in the Fiscal Year 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017,18, respectively. Now the country is self-reliant in cement production, states the statement. “Cement industry has also significantly contributed to the foreign reserve and balance of payment of the country. It is unfortunate to create hurdles to a sector with high export potential.”
Cement industries have added value up to 80 percent using domestic raw materials, claims the statement.
The Department of Mines and Geology (DMG) has time and again formed study committees and fined industries. Now, CIAA has filed cases against industrialists based on the report by DMG.
It is an attempt to discourage the private sector by directly going to the court instead of opting for other alternatives to collect penalty and fines, if found guilty, adds the statement.
The statement is signed jointly by Shekhar Golchha, president of FNCCI, Vishnu Kumar Agarwal, president, CNI and Rajendra Malla, chairperson, NCC.