Citizens Stop Believing Budget Speeches on Hetauda Kapada Udhyog

Hetauda | The issue of reopening the Hetauda Garment Industry (Hetauda Kapada Udhyog) has been continuously discussed, but citizens have now stopped believing the announcements made in the budget. Despite repeated commitments to resume operations of the industry, which has been closed for nearly 24 years, citizens have lost faith as implementation has not happened. Although the reopening of the industry has been pledged in the budget speech every year, the lack of actual implementation has led citizens to doubt the government’s claims.

Established with an investment from the Chinese government, the Hetauda Garment Industry has been closed for almost 24 years. The industry, constructed in 1975, was shut down from Falgun 1, 2057 BS, after continuous losses. With changes in government, there was uncertainty about whether to operate the industry or proceed with halting production and distributing assets, leading to the industry remaining fully closed for 22 years.

In the upcoming fiscal year 2081/82 budget presented to the federal parliament, Finance Minister Parshuman Pun stated that the closed Hetauda Garment Industry, along with the Biratnagar Jute Mill, Gorakhkali Rubber Industry, and others, would be brought into operation through public-private partnerships.

Bablu Sharma, a local resident of Makwanpur, says, “We can no longer trust the government’s promises. The announcements made for many years have never been implemented.” Similarly, another local, Anita Rai, questioned the government’s seriousness regarding operating the industry, saying, “It’s always just talk, but no action. We are no longer convinced by such speeches.”

Previously, the government had announced through the budget that clothes produced from the ailing industry would be worn by those holding public positions. The government had allocated budgets at various times, stating that the industry would be operated, but it has been stalled due to a lack of old machines and raw materials.

The industry building needs to be upgraded. As the old machines cannot compete in the current market, the Hetauda Industrial Area Limited has stated that the machines need to be repaired or new ones added. The industry has 486 cloth weaving looms and 14,688 spindles.

Currently, the Industrial Area Management Limited is overseeing the industry. Various studies have shown that many of the industry’s machines are still in a condition to be operated, according to the Industrial Area Management Office. According to the office, the industry had an annual capacity to produce 2,300 metric tons of yarn, 25 million meters of cloth, and 36,000 meters of cloth per day. At that time, by using locally produced cotton, the industry had made the country self-sufficient in cotton garments. When the industry was fully operational, about 1,200 employees had employment.

Currently, the office of No. 14 Battalion of the Armed Police Force is located in the industry premises, where more than 300 security personnel are stationed. A new industrial area has been established on the land of the industry’s residential area. In this area, the Industrial Area Management Committee has provided land to industrialists to establish 50 new industries. Out of the total area of 3,119 ropanies, 110 industries are currently in operation.

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