NTA withdraws decision to close industries

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov. 19: Nepal Textile Association (NTA) has withdrawn its decision to shut down all industries across the country for a week.
Following an assurance from Finance Minister Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada on Sunday evening about finding an amicable solution to the entrepreneurs’ problem, the latter agreed to open the industries that were padlocked from Saturday.
Finance Minister Dr. Khatiwada has urged the industries to hold their protest at least for 10 days, said Jitendra Lohia, NTA Vice President.
“Finance Minister listened to our grievances and assured us to find a solution. Since the minister has assured us for the first time in serious note, we have agreed to listen to him. He seemed very positive to our demands,” he said.
The textile entrepreneurs held a meeting in the capital immediately after the discussion with Minister Dr Khatiwada and asked all industries to open the mills.
Blaming the government’s indifference to their demand to review its decision to annul the Value Added Tax (VAT) refund system through the budget of the current fiscal year 2018/19, the textile industrialists had decided to shut down the industries for a week bringing about 250 textile mills across the nation to a complete halt.
About 50,000 workers of the industries were affected by the strike.
According to the entrepreneurs, the removal of VAT refund facility has increased the textile production cost by almost 9 per cent and made the domestic cloth even dearer.
They said that they would be satisfied with alternatives like border regulation, control of under-invoicing, formulation of anti-dumping law and subsidies on electricity and import of chemical and machines.
A government-formed committee that also included representatives from the private sector representatives has suggested subsidy on electricity, tax discount on machine, parts and chemical import and including textile in priority sector lending.

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