Nepali Times Asian Paints
Nation
The cost of bandhs



This week\'s three-day nationwide shutdown called by the underground Maoists may have caused an estimated production loss of over Rs 2.25 billion, a leading private sector organization said.

The Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) officials said that the estimation was made on the basis of loss of work days due to bandh calculated with reference to Nepal\'s total annual GDP worth Rs 2,082 billion.

"Besides causing inconveniences to commuters and public in general, Nepal bandhs bleed the national economy badly," FNCCI spokesman Rajendra Kumar Khetan told us. "At a time when the overall scenario of the country\'s economy is gloomy, such bandhs lead to devastating fall-out."

One of the hardest-hit sectors from frequent bandhs has been the already-stagnant Nepali tourism. President of Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), Narendra Bajracharya says bandhs have a multiplier negative effect on the country\'s economy. "The tourism sector in Nepal was already on the verge of collapse due to domestic and international reasons.

The frequent bandhs are pushing us towards total bankruptcy." Airline representatives said although outgoing flights were full during the bandh days, incbound flights saw a sharp drop in tourists. Although visitors numbers have picked up again, the psychological impact of the strikes have dampended numbers.

Bajracharya urges political parties to find alternative means of expressing protest. "If political leaders are really serious towards the people and the country, they must say NO to such `bandhs\'," he said.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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