January 14: Measures adopted by the government to reduce the widening trade deficit by limiting import of goods has given rise to unauthorized imports, according to Nepal Chambers of Commerce (NCC).
Speaking at a function organized to mark the 69th anniversary of the chamber on Monday (January 14), NCC President Rajesh Kaji Shrestha said that the strict measures in import has also cost the state millions of rupees in revenue, which is one of the major sources of government income.
Shrestha opined that instead of imposing restriction on import, the government should focus on increasing export by boosting production.
“The major problem of Nepal’s economy at present is trade deficit. It seems there has been some improvement in this front but limiting import cannot be a long-term solution,” he said.
Unless and until the government formulates concrete policies and programmes to promote export, makes raw materials easily available, develops infrastructure, facilitates legal process, and creates skilled manpower, the trade deficit cannot be reduced, said Shrestha.
NCC office bearers said that India, China and Bangladesh provide good incentives and subsidies to promote export but said that such facilities are not available in Nepal.
Shrestha said that although the government has announced to provide 15 percent incentives to promote export, the local businessmen are having a hard time receiving the amount due to bureaucratic red tape. He stressed on creating a favourable environment in making such incentives easily available to the exporters.