Security plays a key role in attracting investment to the country, according to entrepreneurs.
"Despite huge opportunities and potential, the country has failed to attract investment due to lack of security," they said at an interaction on 'Public and Private Security: National Responsibility', organised by National Business Initiative (NBI) and International Alert here in the valley today.
Investors have lost confidence in the government as it has repeatedly failed to ensure security for businesses and entrepreneurs, they said, adding that the economic indicators could also not record encouraging growth due to prolonged transition.
"Political parties must unite for a common minimum economic agenda to tide over the transitional phase," said secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister Krishna Hari Baskota. "The prolonged political transition has hurt the economy and only a common minimum economic agenda will be able to rescue it."
The private sector has done a commendable job in the field of security for the business community, said commerce and supplies secretary Lalmani Joshi. "The Public-Private-Partnership approach through fair business practices will create a conducive investment environment and also discourage various wrong practices like syndicate," he said, adding that the private sector should lead the campaign for a business friendly environment.
The absence of rule of law and policy insecurity have spoiled the investment climate and discouraged foreign investments, opined trade secretary Krishna Gyawali. "NBI must lobby to create a business friendly environment for national priority issues," he suggested.
Likewise, acting president of Nepal Chambers of Commerce (NCC) Lokmanya Golchha stressed on challenges in attracting foreign investment at a time, when domestic investments are also discouraged due to the donation drive, strikes and labour problems that have been hurting the investment environment.
General secretary of NBI Surendra Bir Malakar, on the occasion, highlighted the rising impunity and increasing morale of criminals and political bickering within the police force due to the government's apathy. "Unemployed youths are being used as stooges of political parties or members of criminal gangs instead of encouraging them to be involved in productive work," he said, adding that the trend has sent a negative message in the society. "The political backing of criminal gangs has not only increased insecurity in the business community but also in society."
Former home secretary Chandi Prasad Shrestha, presenting a paper, urged the private sector to pressurise the government to increase security because during political transition, the business fraternity is more vulnerable due to increased insecurity.
Representatives of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce from the eastern, central and far western development regions also presented papers on the status of industrial security at the interaction presided by NBI chairman Padma Jyoti.High level government officials and security officials were also present on the occasion, where home secretary Nabin Ghimire briefed entrepreneurs about the ministry's arrangements for security and its plans.