Ritesh Tripathi, Republica Daily, 6 May 2018
After the ups and downs and uncertainties that lasted for a decade, there are indications that the Birgunj Industrial Corridor has finally started to flourish. Within the past two years, several industries have been established in this corridor with an investment of billions of rupees.
Few years ago, many industrialists operating in this corridor had left the country by shutting down their industries, when the Madhesh movement had made it difficult for them to run business in the country. The corridor covers areas of Parsa and Bara districts.
But now, signifying positive change in the business environment, several new industries are being established in this corridor. In the past two years, new industries of iron rod, galvanized corrugated sheets, animal feed, biscuits and other edible stuffs have been established here.
Recently, Keyal group has brought Narayani Strips Industries into operation that produces iron rods. Similarly, Subha Shree Jagadamba Cement has increased its investment and production here. The factory is producing around 80,000 sacks of cement a day now, which was previously limited to 45,000 sacks.
A group of industrialists including the Jagadamba group has started brick industry inside the corridor. Meanwhile, five industries among six new industries of Nimbus Industrial Group have been established here. Chairman of the group, Jagdish Agrawal, has said that an edible oil refinery and a masyaura factory have already been started at Jagaranathpur and a pulse industry is in the pipeline. Similarly, the multinational company Britannia has also started work to establish its biscuit factory in the corridor.
“Britannia is establishing a factory here investing Rs one billion,” said industrialist Ashok Baidya, who is bringing Britannia in Nepal. “It is a good thing that such renowned brand is coming to the country with big investment.”
Likewise, Samar Pharmaceuticals was established last year while Suprim Pharmaceuticals has started operation from this year in the corridor. Moreover, the Patanjali brand from India has started operation at Parsauni.
“Despite some negative publicity about Birgunj, this is a suitable place for any kind of industry,” said Baidya. He further added that the government has started to create investment-friendly environment in the country and has started taking investment issues seriously.
Geographical position, easy access to supply and transportation of raw materials are some of the reasons behind Birgunj being suitable for industries, said industrial Pradip Kumar Kedia.
“This place especially has good potential for production of construction materials,” Kedia said. Industries of construction materials, including Jagadamba Steels, Narayani Rolling Mills, Hama Iron, Ashoka Steel, Bandana Rolling, Sakha Steel, Himal, Shalimar, Jagashakti along with other several small and big industries of rod, pipe and iron are operating in this corridor. Currently there are 13 cement industries in this corridor.
The recently inaugurated Integrated Check Post (ICP), dry-port and proximity with the sea port are some of the major advantages for the industries of this corridor. Moreover, the under construction Kathmandu-Tarai fast track, special economic zone (SEZ) and second international airport are other attractive factors for industries. Besides, Birgunj is getting a six-lane road within one year, which also makes transportation easier.
Since there are high prospects for new investment in this area, the government should bring strict custom policies, said Jagdish Agrawal, chairman of Nimbus group.