10-16 July 2015 #766

Rebuilding businesses better

Interview with Pashupati Muraraka, new President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI)

Industrialist Pashupati Muraraka is the new leader of Nepal’s businessmen. The general convention on 1 July of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) decided to forego an election and unanimously selected him as the new President.

Nepali Times: There were two other candidates to the post of FNCCI president, how did you get them agree on your name?

Pashupati Muraraka: We all thought we should not sour relation by opting for elections especially when FNCCI is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary. When we decided to forge a consensus on the FNCCI’s new leadership, I was a clear favourite because I had worked as senior Vice President in the immediate past executive committee. Former FNCCI presidents and friends from district committees also helped me secure this post.

What do you think are your challenges?

My foremost challenge is to retain the unity that we showed in the FNCCI convention by coming to a consensus. Wounds of those who felt hurt will take time to heal. But there is no alternative to unity among us in the business fraternity. The earthquake dealt a blow to small and medium-sized enterprises, and we need to work together to rebuilt and rehabilitate the businesses. We also face challenges in getting the new Labour Act and Company Act passed by the Parliament.

How will you keep this unity intact?

Disputes that surface during the FNCCI conventions are not about ideology. We all want to help the private sector flourish. In the past FNCCI elections, those who won were too arrogant to work together with the defeated candidates and those who did not win also questioned the legitimacy of elections. But I will work together with everyone.

Is the private sector ready to help Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction?

We are ready to work with the government on Public Private Partnership or any other models.

What is the take of the business community on the draft constitution?

Our main concerns are market-driven economy and rights over private property. We will make public our official statement on it very soon. We will demand amendments to the draft, if needed. We had interacted with political parties to express our concerns about the constitution. We hope the new constitution will certainly address the concerns about ensuring a free market competition and the right to private property.

Read also:

There is a draft, Editorial