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CNI concludes 'Make in Nepal Swadeshi Summit' with 35-point declaration

B360
B360 May 8, 2024, 11:02 am
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KATHMANDU: 'Make in Nepal Swadesh Summit 2024' concluded on Tuesday with a 35-point declaration.

The summit organised by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) in Kathmandu aimed to promote local industries, enhance domestic production, and stimulate the consumption of local goods.

Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun accepted the declaration at the summit's conclusion. He committed to incorporating the key recommendations from the panel discussions into the upcoming budget.

He assured attendees that the government would adopt a policy to increase domestic production, promote domestic products, and procure such products for public offices.

Minister Pun, noting that the Prime Minister had directed him to adopt a flexible policy for the private sector, reiterated his commitment to introducing a budget that would stimulate the private sector.

The declaration addresses a variety of issues, from initiating reforms of existing laws and crafting industry-friendly laws to tackle policy, legal, procedural, and practical challenges in creating a favourable industrial environment, to facilitating dialogues to foster an investment-friendly environment. Additionally, efforts will be made to position domestic products and services as the preferred choice for Nepali consumers.

The declaration also emphasised the need for an easy and smooth supply of raw materials, and suggested differentiating the customs rates of finished goods and raw materials to boost domestic industries.

The declaration calls for the establishment of a specialised financial institution to invest in the industrial sector, a provision for government and government agencies to use locally made products for gifting, and the creation of a 'Domestic Product Identification Portal' to identify domestic products, among other initiatives.

Furthermore, the declaration draws the government's attention to the implementation of separate Terms of Reference to effectively operate the One Stop Service Centre, the execution of the Integrated Industrial Development Strategy for the development and promotion of industrial areas, and the advancement of the construction of industrial infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

The declaration also calls for positive government intervention when importing goods or products in which Nepal has achieved self-sufficiency. It recognises the need to encourage the production and import of domestic products by identifying areas of comparative advantage and competition.

Similarly, the declaration suggests that fines should be levied on erring or accused industrialists rather than lodging criminal charges against them, as detaining and mistreating alleged industrialists in financial offence cases could damage their reputation.

The declaration demands a provision that accused industrialists should not be detained until proven guilty. It proposes that a separate Act should be introduced to regulate the industrial sector, as the industrial and investment environment can deteriorate when action is taken under criminal law against erring industrialists.

The declaration also calls for a timely review of the bilateral and multilateral agreements and treaties that Nepal has signed in relation to trade and investment.

The declaration highlights the need to establish a common viewpoint among the major political parties on the agenda of economic prosperity and industrial development for policy-level stability to effectively implement the budget.

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