CII raises security concerns with Nepalese PM

Kathmandu: Industry body CII has raised concerns over security and labour problems faced by Indian joint ventures here with Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai.

A six-member CII delegation, headed by its President B Muthuraman, was here to attend the 46th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) which concluded in Kathmandu on Friday.

Muthuraman met Bhattarai and Minister for Industry Anil Kumar Jha. The Nepalese authorities assured that they will address the problems, including labour and security issues, faced by the Indian JVs, he told PTI.

Surya Nepal, the subsidiary of ITC, has been facing problems due to the Maoist affiliated labour union which has threatened to close down its factory to press for their demands of hike in salaries.

However, the Hetauda Appellate Court has stayed the strike through a verdict on Friday. Another Indian joint venture Unilever is also facing similar threat of shutdown by the Maoist affiliated trade union.

India`s Tata Power and GMR, which are developing various hydro projects in Nepal, have also been facing similar problems due to political instability and deteriorating security situation.

Muthuraman said political stability and improved law and order situation are a must to pave way for attracting more foreign investments to Nepal.

"If Nepal can improve its security and create conducive atmosphere by maintaining political stability many Indian joint ventures might be interested to invest in Nepal," Mathuraman said.

"I am confident that these issues will be soon resolved, he added. If Nepal could expedite the ongoing peace process and write a democratic constitution at the earliest, it would send positive message to potential foreign investors," he further said.