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Entrepreneurs quitting business and leaving for foreign lands

2023 Jul 12, 10:30, Kathmandu

The industrialists and business persons in the district are found quitting their businesses and leaving for foreign employment due to the economic slump brought by COVID-19. More and more entrepreneurs are leaving the country for foreign land after their efforts to revitalize their COVID-dented businesses failed to pay off, it is stated.

The entrepreneurs are finding it hard to pay their staff and the building or land rent. The number of entrepreneurs leaving the country for overseas has increased in the district in recent months.

Upon observation, one can see that many outlets and shutters in the main trading hub Narayangadh and surrounding markets are either shut or have put up 'On Sale' notice.

Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Chun Narayan Shrestha said seven businesspersons have closed their businesses and gone abroad. According to him, they went abroad on business visa. Similarly, 12 industrialists and business persons have formally applied for closing their businesses.

"The situation is such that it is difficult to either start a new venture or to continue with the existing business due to the economic slowdown and the exorbitant bank interest rate," Shrestha summed up the current business environment and the reason for entrepreneurs quitting the business.

According to him, although this problem is comparatively less in the main market areas, it is severe in new and expanding trade towns. He said the entrepreneurs and traders are leaving their businesses due to the 'tight' monetary policy.

Shrestha further added, "The big industries and businesses are running for the 'sake of their existence' whereas the smaller businesses have been hit hard and are in vulnerable situation."

Even those enterprises that are somehow keeping their businesses afloat have been cutting down on their production and employees.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chitwan, said the enterprises that are in operation have also reduced their production. They are producing only around 40 per cent of their total production capacity. Shrestha, the Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, said the State suffers in reduced tax while the businesses themselves are facing problem to sustain due to the reduced production.

It is said that among the 4,000 registered members of the Chitwan Chamber of Commerce and Industry that are in operation, most are running in financially weak condition. The automobile sector, poultry sector, concrete manufacturing industries, food industries, construction enterprises, among others, are affected the most by the economic downturn exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of Industry Association, Chitwan, Trilochan Kandel said till date 30 per cent industries have closed down in Chitwan. He added that this trend is on the increase. According to him, 30 per cent of the 1,200 members affiliated to the Association have closed shop.

"The trend of industries closing down is increasing while opening new ones is minimal. It appears that the trend of industries closing down will still increase with the increasing bank interest rates and the economic uncertainty," he added.

Stating that with this growing trend of entrepreneurs going abroad by closing their enterprises will result in large number of people losing employment and hundreds of thousands of youths being left with no option but to go for foreign employment, Kandel suggested that the monetary policy of the state should be flexible to stop this trend.

He suggested that the banks reduced the interest rate and brought it down to 1 per cent and the government also paid serious attention on addressing the problems facing the industrialists and businesspersons.



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