Senior Vice President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chandra Prasad Dhakal has said that it is necessary to change the current expenditure process to increase capital expenditure.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 17th Lekhnath Mahotsav (Festival) organized by the Lekhnath Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Senior Vice President Dhakal said that if the capital expenditure could be made on time, it would have a positive impact on the overall economic activities.
"The private sector has been raising the issue for decades, but it has not improved. The expenditure process of capital expenditure is traditional. It is estimated that only 19 percent of capital expenditure has been incurred till Falgun. Economic development and prosperity cannot be achieved without improving it,” he said.
Stating that the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) is looking into ways to increase economic activity, attract foreign investment, encourage domestic production and import substitution, Dhakal said that the federation is trying to move ahead by signing an agreement with the Investment Board to facilitate foreign investment.
He said that the number of non-resident Nepalis investing in Nepal was increasing and more foreign investment could be attracted if tax exemption and other facilities could be provided for a limited period by setting a threshold to further encourage it.
"Non-resident Nepalis who invest more than Rs. 50 crores in tourism infrastructure development and other projects can be given tax exemptions and other facilities within a certain time frame. From this, development of tourism infrastructure, tourism promotion, internal employment, additional taxes to the government and revenue collection, including multi-faceted benefits can be taken," he said.
He said that if the nation could create an investment environment by facilitating the private sector, the state could reap substantial benefits from job creation, tax and revenue collection, and construction of other physical infrastructure.
"A few years ago, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, came to Nepal. At that time, I had the opportunity to visit some places in Kathmandu. At that time, I asked him - Prime Minister, what is the secret of Malaysia's development in a short time? His response was that if the state only facilitates the private sector for investment, the development will not take time. The state is a partner without investment, he had added," Dhakal said.
Dhakal, who is also the chairman of IME Limited, Nepal's first remittance company, said that workers in foreign employment should be given cash incentives to bring remittances to Nepal formally.
Stating that Pokhara is becoming a hub of domestic tourism, he said that the economic activities of Pokhara are returning to normal after Covid. “With the expansion of direct air links to Pokhara from almost all major cities of the country, Pokhara has become a hub for domestic tourists. I have noticed that this has gradually diminished the impact of Covid over the last two years. This has given new impetus to us entrepreneurs," he said.
Stating that the Lekhnath Festival would help in the promotion of domestic production, he said that the Lekhnath Festival organized by the Lekhnath Chamber of Commerce and Industry was a source of inspiration for all the district and municipal chambers of commerce.