The government has agreed to increase the cash incentive for readymade garments to two per cent in line with other exports and also include it in the basket of Nepal Trade Integration Strategy (NTIS) products.
"The government will increase the incentive to the sector to two per cent — like other export items — from the beginning of next fiscal year," commerce and supplies minister Shankar Koirala informed representatives of the export sector that met him today afternoon.
Earlier, readymade garments had been enjoying three per cent incentive as it has more than 60 per cent value addition, but due to recent changes in regulation, it had been provided only one per cent export incentive, the exporters led by president of Garment Association - Nepal (GAN) Uday Raj Pandey told the minister.
Likewise, exporters also asked the government to help produce skilled human resource. "On one hand the garment sector is short of skilled labourers due to huge migration, and on the other even those that are being employed are not skilled," said Pandey, adding that with the help of Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), GAN has been running a training centre for labourers, which has been producing 30 skilled labourers every three months.
"We have asked the minister to help us establish a permanent training centre that will help produce skilled manpower as currently, the garment sector is facing manpower shortage," he added. "Currently, there is an immediate demand for some 300 workers."
Likewise, exporters and the minister along with trade secretary Krishna Gyawali and commerce and supplies secretary Lal Mani Joshi, discussed on ways to boost the overall export of the country. They also agreed to exchange information for smooth exports.
"Currently, garment export to India is increasing but India has levied countervailing charge on Nepali garments, which needs to be sorted through government-to-government talks and we have agreed to work jointly on such issues to expedite exports," Pandey, who is also a member of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) said.
Likewise, some eight months ago, garment was decided to be included in the NTIS basket, however, it has not been materialised. "We have asked the minister to immediately include garments in the NTIS basket," he said, adding that the minister has agreed to revise the list.
Investment in the readymade garment sector — once the major export of the country — has currently dropped to less than one-fourth, according to garment exporters. "It had an investment of around Rs 18 billion but it has dropped to around Rs 4.5 billion now," they said, asking the government to help create an export-friendly environment.
Traders oppose dual cylinders
KATHMANDU: Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) traders, opposing the government's decision to implement dual-coloured cooking gas cylinders, have asked minister for commerce and supplies Shankar Koirala to help solve the confusion. Currently, there are 4.5 million cooking gas cylinders in the market and distribution of consumer cards, that had been widely opposed by LPG traders, have also not been smooth. The traders have suggested the minister to let the local body recommend for the consumer cards to check fraudulent activities.