Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Privatisation key to economic growth

The private sector has to run industries and the government should only play the role of a regulator and monitor, and not compete with the private sector by running industries, according to the private sector.
The private sector's investment has to go up for the economic development of the country and privatisation is the way forward, said president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Suraj Vaidya at an interaction on privatisation in Nepal and lessons here in the Finance Ministry today.
The current trend of 'lean government' has been floated globally to promote the private sector reducing the government's role and limiting it to monitoring and facilitation, opined finance secretary Krishna Hari Baskota.
"The government has no option other than to join hands with the private sector and boost its confidence," he added.
"But in Nepal's context, the government has followed different models of privatisation," said Baskota, adding that over time, some 30 industries have been privatised — some industries have been completely sold, some leased out and only the management of some others handed over — in the country.
The key concept of privatisation is to reduce government liability and increase revenue along with productivity, said joint secretary at the Privatisation Cell under the Finance Ministry Basu Sharma.
However, the weak relationship between the state and private sector has sent a negative message about privatisation in the past, he said, adding that policy inconsistency and low support from the government also failed the privatisation process. "It is high time to rethink privatisation with an amendment in the Privatisation Act," suggested Sharma.
"It's not that all the privatised entities have failed," participants from the privatised entities said, adding that some of them have been making profits and others are facing various problems, which if addressed by the government, will still be able to make profits.
However, they complained that the government had not ensured a level playing field and had not fulfilled its commitments according to the agreement.


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