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‘Startup work procedures and project loans to be implemented soon’

The Annapurna Express

The Annapurna Express

‘Startup work procedures and project loans to be implemented soon’

DPM Paudel urged the private sector to provide clear suggestions to the government regarding the problems of SMEs

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel has said that the startup work procedures and provision on project loans would be implemented soon.

Addressing the Small and Medium Enterprises Conference organized by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Lalitpur on Monday, Poudel assured that he would take the initiative for preparing the Startup Work Procedures which has been pending for a long.

“It is our weakness that the startup work procedures could not be drafted until now. The work procedures would be passed immediately. The project loans that the private sector has been demanding will also be implemented soon,” he said.

DPM Paudel urged the private sector to provide clear suggestions to the government regarding the problems of SMEs. Stating that the government would take the initiative for identifying the problems of the small, cottage, micro, and medium-scale enterprises and for resolving them, he said a right conclusion would be derived on the matter only after taking suggestions from the related sectors.

“The government moves ahead only after taking the suggestions from the related sector while drafting the plan and policy of any sector. It is necessary that the private sector points out and clarifies the policy-level ambiguities in a particular sector,” said Poudel, adding that the government has expected concrete and clear suggestions on how the procedural hassles could be minimized and the service delivery made prompt and convenient.

Poudel said the private sector should also give suggestions as to how access to the SMEs could be increased in the financial sector.

Stating that the interest rate is linked with inflation, Poudel said that the government will take steps to stop interest rates from going higher. He made it clear that the government had no policy to intervene in the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) affairs as it is an autonomous body, but the government would cooperate with it to address the existing issues.

FNCCI President Shekhar Golchha described small and middle-scale enterprises as the basis for the national economy, but these businesses are surrounded by various issues. “The prices of raw materials have skyrocketed. The bank interest rate is high. Small entrepreneurs face challenges to get loans,” he said.

According to Golchha, 309 large industries were registered in the last fiscal year whereas 65,069 SMEs were also registered. “This number can increase even more, and their production capacity can increase even more,” he said, adding, “The capacity of all small and large industries has now decreased by about 60 percent. Expensive interest rates have not only made expansion of investment a challenge, but it has also become a challenge to sustain the enterprise. Our demand is that project-based loans should be provided to such entrepreneurs.”