Kathmandu: The small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) demanded arrangement of financial relief to the entrepreneurs hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a joint press conference on Sunday, the Federation of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Nepal, the umbrella organizations of SMEs, called for arrangement of financial relief to those facing crises due to the effects of pandemic.
On the occasion, entrepreneur Naresh Katuwal said preparations were underway for nationwide protest for protection of country’s economy. Claiming that the small and medium entrepreneurs had saved the country’s national economy, he asked the government to support small industry for their survival in troubled times. Nepal National Federation of Entrepreneurs Chair Kumar Karki said small and medium entrepreneurs had been bearing the brunt of the economic crisis of the country exacerbated by catastrophic incidences, including earthquake and coronavirus pandemic.
Entrepreneurs had been compelled to resort a suicidal path due to wrong policy measures of banks and financial institutions (BFIs). Senior vice-chair of the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs Nepal Punya Prasad (Saroj) Sitaula commented that the BFIs were making profit while investors were grappling with crises in the recent situation. The entrepreneurs were experiencing hard time largely because of tough measures of the banks and financial institutions when the business sector was gradually baling out of the crisis, he added.
Likewise, Chairperson of Nepal Federation of Garment and Tailoring Entrepreneurs Ramkrishna Shrestha said the government should work to address the plights of each sector entrepreneurs. He accused the banks and financial institutions of unilaterally increasing interest rates when SMEs were struggling to rise from the present crises brought out by coronavirus pandemic. Also speaking on the occasion, leaders of other business sectors demanded the government come forward with special policy to safeguard SMEs that are on verge of closure due to pressing policy of BFIs.