The Kathmandu Post, 12th May 2017, Kathmandu
Industry Ministry has sought an additional budget of Rs6.35 billion to implement various programmes which the ministry failed to accommodate within the budget ceiling of Rs8.26 billion set by the National Planning Commission.
“Under the given ceiling, we could not include the regular programmes. So we have forwarded the proposal seeking addition budget,” said Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi, addressing a press interaction here on Thursday. “We are very hopeful to get the additional budget.”
The Industry Ministry in the upcoming fiscal year is planning to implement various ambitious programmes aimed at improving the industrial environment and creating employment opportunities for large number of youths that enters job market every year.
The ministry is mulling the development of special economic zones (SEZ) at Biratnagar, Gorkha and Dhangadhi. It plans to complete environment impact assessment, land acquisition and detailed project report of the SEZs in three cities.
It also plans to construct cross border SEZs at two different locations nearby the borders of two neighboring countries-India and China-with an aim to attract investors from there.
Likewise, the ministry is aiming to construct export promotion zones at bordering areas as well as areas nearby the international airport.
Similarly, it has also proposed to build economic zones that specialise in production of a single product. Such economic zones, according to Joshi, will be developed as manufacturing hub of products like leather, shoes and electrical equipments, among others.
“Implementation of such programmes will improve the industrial environment as well as create employment opportunities,” said Joshi.
The Industry has also proposed to introduce a programme for the development of entrepreneurship among the women.
The programme aims to provide loans of up to Rs2.5 million to a group of women entrepreneurs under the interest subsidy.
Such loans, according to the ministry, would be given against guarantee extended by a group of women, meaning no collateral would be required to obtain the credit.
The ministry’s programme will primarily target rural women engaged in indigenous businesses like production of allo (Himalayan Nettle) and dhaka products, among other. According to a survey carried out by the ministry, such enterprises can add significant value if they rely on machines and other technology.