Dhruva Thapa, President NADA
(Dhruva Thapa, who is in early 50s, has just been elected to the president of NADA (Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association) in the 45th General Convention of the organization. He has been involved in the field of automobile industry for the last three decades. Born in Pokhara, he is involved not only in automobile business, but also in hotel and banking industries. Starting his career from a small scale business of motorbike dealership he became the chairman of Himalaya Organization based in Pokhara. He is also the official dear of Force Motors in Nepal. Here are some excerpts from an encounter with Thapa.)
TNW: What sorts of problems are the small automobile businesses currently facing?
First I would like to clarify here that those involved in automobile spare-parts business are called small businesses. The small enterprises are facing problems related with customs duty. The automobile industries are doing their business in very much transparent way. The customs officers treat them in such a manner that they are not revealing the actual price of the spare parts they imported from foreign country. Thus, they used to charge high customs duty by artificially increasing the price of the mentioned by the spare parts dealers, which is not fair.
TNW: Is there the possibility of establishing assembly industry in automobile field at present?
There is the possibility of operating assembly business so far as two-wheelers are concerned. In fact, two assembly industries for producing two-wheelers have already been established in the country. Some other companies are also preparing for their entry in the field. There is the possibility of flourishing such industries within Nepal. But, the government should bring clear-cut policies Without a clear-cut and stable consistent policy nobody will be going to invest in this billion rupees industry. The tax policy must be stable and suitable for attracting investors in this automobile sector.
TNW: What about establishing four wheelers’ industry in Nepal ?
There is also the possibility of establishing four-wheeler manufacturing industries in Nepal though the size of domestic market is very small. We can begin with assembly industry for producing four-wheelers. However, the main thing is that we must have a stable tax policy.
TNW: What prospect do you see about operating electric vehicles in Nepal in future? NADA is the first institution to raise voice about introducing electric vehicles in the country. Now people have become more conscious regarding the promotion of electric vehicles. As you know the environment is getting more and more polluted due to the emission of smoke by vehicles. It is not only environment friendly but also known as healthy practices to switch into electric vehicles. The drive to operate electric vehicle is gradually taking momentum in the country and I believe that in the next five year’s period fifty percent of the total vehicles to be imported from foreign country will be electric vehicles. Many leading automobile industries in the world have also started producing electric vehicles these days. Now the coming age is for electric vehicles and the choice of the new generation will naturally be electric vehicles. There is also shortage of technical manpower working in the field of electric vehicles in Nepal. NADA will also focus its attention towards this issue. The government has also taken initiatives recently to establish charging stations at around 50 places across the country for smooth operation of electric vehicles. The private sector will also start installing charging stations at various places.