Nepali Times
Strictly Business
Broken umbrella


Where was the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) when Surya Nepal recently closed its garment unit due to prolonged labour union disputes?

Well, let's see. They issued a boilerplate in which they worried about how the shutdown might scare other foreign investors. They requested the government and the related parties to create a favourable climate for industries. They expressed deep worries.

If this is all that FNCCI can do in times of militant labour unions, how is it ever going to fulfill its mission of 'facilitating Nepali businesses become globally competitive', let alone execute its vision of 'leading the nation's economic progress'? Surely, boring press releases will not make this country competitive.

To be fair, last March, the FNCCI brought the three trade unions – the Maoist-backed All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF), the Nepali Congress-backed Nepal Trade Union Congress (NTUC) and the UML-backed General Federation of Trade Unions of Nepal (GeFONT) – together to sign that there would be no pay for work not done.

But just as Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal winked to bless his cadres' call for various bandas across the country, despite signing a no banda agremment, the union affiliated with his party followed the lead, signed one thing in the spring and did just the opposite in the summer at the garment factory. This about-face was a show of force between the two factions among the Maoists – one led by the Honorable Member of the Constituent Assembly Shalikram Jammakattel, and the other by Badri Bajgain.

This is the time for the FNCCI to stand tall on its claim that it represents the interests of all law-abiding businesses and summon courage to call a spade a spade. It should not be lathering itself up with platitudes. It should take off the gloves, and join hands with wider civil society groups that too are tired watching a few politically-protected goons hold everyone's future hostage in their own country.

The questions that the FNCCI should put forth loudly and clearly through all forms of media are: What right do these union leaders have to play with job security of more than 600 workers, most of whom are poor women who were often paid above-the-market wages? Who are they to deprive the nation of tax revenues? And what makes them think that they can continue to portray their own country as a dangerous place to do business with, if their intention is not to always keep it poor, hungry and chaotic?

Who, with half a brain on his head, wants to negotiate with uncompromisingly unprincipled union netas who are so cocksure in their belief that if violence got them the political power, violence will also help them make the sun rise from the west?

To be sure, hyper-educated Maoist lawmakers such as Hari Roka will leap to the comrades' defense. He will accuse, as he has, the company for not paying taxes and of myriad other violations. In that case, the FNCCI's cool answer should be: "Fine. Prove your charges in a court of law. If you can't do so, then, don't spread lies. Meantime, go draft the constitution, the job for which taxpayers have been piling you and your colleagues with money."

The FNCCI can use Surya Garment's example to play safe and be irrelevant. Or, it can make an effort to pacify the increasingly impatient public frustration that something has gone deeply wrong in this country.

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Making paper while the sun shines

1. who cares
empty your storage and kill all the rats. 

2. jange

To be sure, hyper-educated Maoist lawmakers such as Hari Roka....

Nice... will remember.

3. GyaRel
who cares, "empty your storage and kill all the rats. " That does not work because some rats will find a way while you empty it. Crush everything like a building was crushed in UK in 1980s when they found millions of rats under the building.

One rat that was plagued for sometime, and attacked Mr. Tiwari a few years ago was attacked by his goon or former friends. Rats eat rat when they get plague.

How come this rat was walking alone? So, he was very confident that the world is full of his friend rats, but forgot that there are some plagued rats who could attack rats of his own class.

Whoever did it, it sends a clear message that future is not that easy.

4. who cares

that bloody rat turned out to be unprofessional, incompetent like all other rats.

born loosers. 

plague looks to have evolved, my friend. 

5. Purusotam Basnet
Whether it is political or social organization, if they believe that they are working for the welfare of poor people and reducing proverty, scientifically it is a fake philosophy. Since the existance of such organization is possible if the mass of poor people increases, and it is axiom. The main concept of communism itself is to strengthen mean we have to increase the mass of poor population. Otherwise they will disappear. It is what happening in Nepal-they say that they are born to reduce the poor population mass but by action they have to increase. Accidently, the process is partly diverted because of opportunity to spell the sweat of young people in foreign land, otherwise it would bring a condition to collapse a whole country.

6. chandra baral(magar)
Ashu reprising the role of Devi Prasad Regmi now: Regmi slapped Jhallu and Jhallu got premiership. Now Ashu slams Hari Roka and guess what, he is touted to be a new finance minister.

This is typical of our country: Roka was considered a disgrace in UML when he was in UML. A drunkard, and wayward supporter, whom Madhav Nepal used to chide to become clean and punctual. Then he switched affiliation, went to JNU to study god-knows-what, and learnt to write a few articles in kantipur with economic terms. Now, he is suddenly an expert. He doesn't have to win election, he doesn't have to be a professor in TU, he doesn't have to have any experience in any organization-straight to the ministership.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)