KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said on Sunday that the government would not license new industries in the vicinity of Lumbini, keeping in view the worsening environmental problem in the birth place of Lord Buddha and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
“The government will strictly enforce the decision and relocate existing industries as the growing industrial pollution is causing adverse impact in tourism industry in Lumbini,” Nepal said at a meeting with business people in the capital on Sunday.
Though existing rules bar operation of industries within 15km radius of the World Heritage site, it has yet to be implemented.
The PM also objected to the continuation of licensing new industries in the area and warned officials of strong action if they are found issuing permits, violating the government decision.
“We can´t compromise on any activities that deteriorate the beauty and serenity of Lumbini area. We will take strong action against officials who give permission to open new industries there,” the PM added.
Moreover, Nepal also said that the government was mulling over relocating industries that are already under operation in the vicinity of Lumbini.
“We are in favor of relocating industries that are already under operation there by establishing an industrial corridor so that the birthplace of Lord Buddha can be protected from environmental hazards,” Nepal added.
During the meeting, business people asked the PM for alternatives if the government enforced restrictions on operation of industries in Lumbini.
´Give up ego clash on CoO´
PM Nepal also asked the business community to make a mechanism for making revenue generated from issuance of Certificate of Origin (CoO) more transparent.
“You (business people) shouldn´t launch ego clash on the issuance of CoOs. I suggest you to establish a governing body that would oversee the collection and distribution of revenue against the issuance of CoOs for exportable goods,” the PM said. He also urged business community to recognize the existence of other organizations to ensure justifiable distribution of CoO revenue.
During the meeting, office-bearers of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) demanded with the PM to provide exclusive authority of collecting fee on issuance of CoOs to the apex business organization.