Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Entrepreneurs decry forceful donation, seek security

The business community has once again urged the government to immediately stop the forceful donation drive and security threat on entrepreneurs.
The private sector, which is facing hard times due to chronic power shortage and repeated labour problems, has become a milking cow for the UCPN-Maoist, said an entrepreneur, asking not to be named.
"On one hand, industries have not been able to operate at full capacity and on the other, we are getting letters from the ruling UCPN-Maoist asking for donations for their seventh general convention," the entrepreneur said, urging the UCPN-Maoist led government to immediately stop the forceful donation drive as they cannot support political parties without an investment friendly environment and opportunity to operate industries at full capacity.
According to the central bank's report, industries were able to utilise only half their production capacity in the last fiscal year. "Industries were able to utilise only 58 per cent of their capacity in the last fiscal year 2011-12," the central bank report said.
The central bank has attributed the declining capacity of the industries to increasing labour cost due to frequent strikes, and rising prices of raw materials that have been posing challenges for domestic products to compete in the international market.
On top of that the forceful donation drive by the party that is in the government has largely discouraged entrepreneurs, the entrepreneur said, adding that the low confidence of the domestic private sector has also been making it difficult to attract foreign direct investment to the country.
The government talks of attracting foreign direct investment but it harasses the domestic private sector, according to another entrepreneur, who opined that without building confidence within the domestic private sector, it is not possible to attract foreign direct investment.
The private sector has also asked the government to provide security to their businesses and property, as they have been receiving regular threats for declining to provide donations to political parties.
"The government should either fix a minimum donation amount by bringing an Act or stop forceful donation," another entrepreneur said, adding that the Act will help them write the donations in the book, which will start a transparent practice and help ethical business practices.
"The government blames us for doctoring accounts but forces us to give them donations, which cannot be shown in the accounts," he added. "The government itself is promoting unethical practice and blackmailing us with raids, if we do not give donations."
Most entrepreneurs have switched off their mobile phones and stopped attending office due to security threat, he added.
Likewise, the increase in the number of parties in the country has also become a headache for entrepreneurs as they have to give donations to each of them. "More parties means more donations for us," the entrepreneurs said.
A fortnight ago, CPN-Maoist had also forced entrepreneurs to give donations for its seventh general convention.

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