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Special Economic Zone Plans For Biratnagar in Limbo Due to Lack of Funds

Image Courtesy: eKantipur

The government had high plans to build a special economic zone (SEZ) in Biratnagar which is the country’s eastern business hub but the plan is in limbo due to lack of funds, reports The Kathmandu Post.

The Details:

  • The plan for the SEZ was announced 5 years ago. Then 3 years ago, the SEZ Committee conducted a feasibility study to establish the SEZ on 312 bighas of land owned by Salt Trading Corporation.
  • Most budget statements since then have included the project but till now, no action has been taken towards the actual development process.
  • The project is also facing land acquisition problems. It is unclear whether the land for the site belongs to Salt Trading Corporation or Morang Sugar Mill.
  • But since both corporations have been merged under the Industry and Supply ministries, it is no longer an issue.

What they are saying:

  • Pawan Sarada, president of the Morang Trade Association said, “We have been informed that the Industry Ministry has forwarded the file to the Finance Ministry and asked for Rs810 million to buy land, but no headway has been made on this front.”
  • While Mukesh Upadhyay, president of the Chamber of Industries Morang said, “The SEZ prioritizes only export oriented industries, but we are facing difficulties setting up factories as real estate prices have gone up significantly. For example, if it costs Rs. 20 million to construct a factory building and set up the plant and machinery, it will cost around Rs. 100 million to buy the required land. Therefore, we need an industrial area in the region along with the SEZ.”

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