May 21, 2024, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

FNCCI concludes conference on SMEs

10 point resolutions issued to support cottage, small and medium enterprises

The Nepal Weekly
January 31, 2023
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel inaugurating the event.

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) organised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Summit in Lalitpur on 23rd January.

Addressing the summit, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said the startup work procedures and provision on project loans will be implemented soon. He also said that he will take the initiative to prepare the startup work procedures.

“It is the government’s weakness that the startup work procedures have not been drafted so far. The work procedures will be worked out soon. The project loans which the private sector has been demanding will also be implemented soon,” DPM Paudel said.

He urged the private sector to give suggestions to the government regarding the problems that small and medium enterprises are facing. He said the government will take initiative to identify and resolve the problems of the small, cottage, micro and medium-scale enterprises after taking suggestions.

DPM Paudel urged the private sector to point out and clarify the policy-level ambiguities in the particular sector.  He said the government has expected concrete and clear suggestions on how the procedural hassles could be minimised and the service delivery made prompt and convenient.

He expressed his commitment to working towards hearing the problems of the private sector and addressing the justified demands. Further, he suggested that the private sector should also give suggestions as to how the access of SMEs could be increased in the financial sector.

DPM Paudel asserted that the government had no policy to intervene in Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) affairs but would cooperate to address the existing issues.

On the occasion, FNCCI President ShekharGolchha described small and midum-scale enterprises as the basis for the national economy and pointed out that these sectors were marred by various issues. “The cost of raw materials hiked too much. The bank interest rate is also very high. Moreover, small entrepreneurs face challenges to get loans,” he said and added such elements are causing problems for enterprises to sustain, which he argued was far from investment expansion. He opined that the state should play a role to establish a reasonable and reliable interest rate and a systematic tax system.

President Golchha mentioned that if the SMEs sector, which employs around 1.7 million people, can supply quality products according to the market demand using modern technology, there is a possibility of making great economic progress in the industry in Nepal.

The panelists and speakers

Joni Simpson, office-in-charge, ILO Country Office for Nepal; ElkeWisch, UNICEF Representative for Nepal; and Babacar Sedikh Faye, IFC Resident Representative for Nepal; stressed on need of rapid development of SMEs, which play important part in Nepali economy. They said that this will also help to achieve the goal of economic graduation of Nepal by 2026.

FNCCI Senior Vice President Chandra Prasad Dhakal assured that the federation is preparing to launch SMEs Service Centre to help SMEs and later it will be expanded to chapters in all provinces.

Around 300 stakeholders from the FNCCI’s Province Chapters, district and municipal-level chamber of commerce and industry, commodity associations, representatives of the Government of Nepal, women, micro, domestic, small and medium entrepreneurs among others will take part in the programme being organised under the leadership of FNCCI’s two committees – Cottage and Small Industry Committee and Women Entrepreneurship Development Committee.

At the concluding of the conference FNCCI issued resolutions with 10 vital agenda to bring into action.

1.  Organise SMEs conference at all 7 provinces in every 2 years.

2.  Role and engagement of SMEs in National Economic Transition by 2030 that raised by FNCCI will be continued for implementation.

3.  FNCCI will continue effort to collaborate on SMEs with the line ministry as agreed in July 2022.

4.  Service to stakeholders through the cell established by FNCCI for cottage, small and medium industries will be continued.

5.  Products of cottage, small and medium industries will be facilitated to connect with domestic industries by actions and advocacies. Support expansion raw materials for cottage, small and medium industries.

6.  Support financial and investment to cottage, small and medium industries will be rendered by coordinating with banks and financial institutions.   

7.  Work jointly with Federal Government on formulating strategy to tackle the situation created on cottage, small and medium industries after the country graduated to developed status in 2026. Export promotion will also be taken into focus.

8.  Policy influence for market security of cottage, small and medium industries will be taken into consideration. Digitization will be taken as an instrument. National and international coordination for support on packaging and branding of products of cottage, small and medium industries will be brought into action.

9.  Collaborate with government institutions to support startups. Incubation centres will be established at federal level and provincial level.

10.  To increase consumption of domestic productions at state level policy influence and advocacy activities will be carried out continuing public-private efforts.