President of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI)
Members of Business Community
Foreign Delegates and Experts
Representatives of the media
I am pleased to inaugurate the two-day "International Conference on Enhancing Resource Effectiveness in the Work Place" jointly organised by the FNCCI and International Journal of Industrial Engineering. I welcome all the delegates and experts who have come to Nepal to attend the seminar and wish you a very happy stay in our country.
The topic of the conference is very timely and pertinent specially in the context of countries like ours as we badly need to make lots of changes in our working style, culture and behaviour particularly in the work place to increase productivity and effectiveness. At the same time, we have to undertake an integrated approach to focus on both conservation of our scarce resources and optimum resource utilisation in order to maximise output. I understand that papers being presented in the conference are quite technical but I have no doubt that the conference would come out with workable recommendations to enhance effective use and productivity of natural and human resources.
The Government of Nepal has accorded topmost priority to the task of shortening the period of political transition and institutionalising the era of peace and stability in the country. This endeavour basically involves taking the ongoing peace process to its positive conclusion and drafting the new Constitution within the prescribed timeframe as per the aspirations of the people. We want to achieve these objectives through broader national consensus, unity and dialogue on the part of political parties. The Government is making efforts to inject fresh momentum to our peace process in consultation with major parties represented in the Constituent Assembly.
Apart from our immediate political objectives of promoting peace process and making a new Constitution, the Government is committed to expedite economic development. We fully realise that it is only through rapid economic transformation and considerable improvement in the quality of life of our people that we can actually sustain and further reinforce epoch-making and historic political changes that have taken place in the country for the last three years.
The Government is keen to provide relief to our people. We have made a high-level mechanism and instructed authorities to take measures to control price rise of essential commodities that have posed considerable hardships to the common people. I have instructed authorities to take essential measures to control the cholera and diarrhoea epidemic that has hit some districts in the mid-western part of the country. We need the co-operation and support of the business community and private sector in effectively dealing with these problems.
As your are aware, the new budget presented by the Government is investment-friendly. It seeks to focus on job creation, better investment climate and taking up big infrastructure projects like hydro-power schemes and fast-track roads. We plan to generate 25,000 megawatts of hydropower in the next two and half decades and encourage the development of alternative power sources like biogas, wind energy and solar power. We invite both our entrepreneurs and investors and business community from abroad to join hands in making investments in Nepal for mutual benefit and the Government is ready to facilitate the process.
The budget has relaxed duties on the imports of goods used for hydro-electric generation, biofuel production and small and cottage industries with a view to reducing power shortage and creating more jobs. The Government is keen to promote three pillars of economy, co-operatives, public domain and private sector. We want to accord greater priority to the development of co-operatives with a view to enlisting the participation of maximum number of our people in the country's over-all development. The Government is also ready to promote public-private partnership to step up the pace of social and economic progress. The private sector has a big role in accelerating the socio-economic development in the context of the establishment of peace and stability in the country.
Agriculture is one area that needs focus and maximum attention as it commands about 40 percent of the total GDP and employs an estimated 66 percent of our total population. Low-cost housing is also being encouraged to provide housing facilities for the poor and marginalised sections of the population. There is an ample scope for investments in these two sectors with a view to providing employment and benefitting a large section of the population.
The Government is also committed to keep the highways and major road networks open and secure and strengthen law and order situation in the country. The Home Ministry is making necessary homework to implement a special security action plan in the country through active involvement of various Government agencies and political parties. Enhanced security situation in the country is a basic pre-requisite for promoting a congenial business atmosphere and attracting investments. Let us join hands to promote an era of peace, stability and prosperity in our country.
I wish the conference all success.
Text of the Address made by Rt. Hon. Prime Minister MADHAV KUMAR NEPAL at the International Conference on Enhancing Resource Effectiveness in the Work Place held in Kathmandu on Monday, August 04, 2009