Finance Minister Dr. Yuvraj Khatiwada has said that the tariff rate on raw materials and finished goods have been changed one level to protect the indigenous industries. Khatiwada, who was present at the meeting of the Committee on Industry and Commerce and Labor and Consumer Affairs of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, said that the government has fixed the tariff rates to protect the indigenous industries.

Replying to a question raised by the lawmakers during the discussion held in the committee on protection of indigenous industries through review of customs tariff, Finance Minister Khatiwada said that the tariff rate on finished goods was kept one level above that of raw materials to protect indigenous industries. He said that industries and businesses are protected from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 20 percent from imported goods.

He said that customs duty on raw materials and finished goods should not be differentiated to control price rise and industrialists should be able to become competitive within 20 percent. He said that the problems of the businessmen are being solved every year as the customs rates are changing regularly. He said that an arrangement is being made to form a revenue board and allow them to work independently in revenue matters. He said that the board would work effectively to solve the problems related to taxes.

Khatiwada said that there would be no problem in using indigenous products in the projects if the standards set for the use of indigenous products are met and there are no problems in supply. He said that the use of domestically produced goods has been ensured as the Public Procurement Act has provided for the purchase of indigenous goods even though it is 15 percent expensive. He said that the government was working to protect the indigenous industries by developing the quality of the goods, timely supply, and capacity to supply the required quantity.

Finance Minister Khatiwada also urged the businessmen to change their perception of giving and taking by the government. Stating that the government has taken tax from the entrepreneurs for creating a business environment, making laws, preparing infrastructure, managing the supply system, and providing peace and security, he said that he was not ready to accept what the government would give and take.

During the meeting, Energy Secretary Dinesh Kumar Ghimire said that the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation was clear about the use of goods produced in Nepal. He said that indigenous goods are being used in accordance with the system of giving priority even if the quality of goods produced in Nepal is up to 15 percent if the supply is in line with the demand.

Acting Secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Gokarnamani Duwadi, said that the indigenous products were used in the procurement of public works materials when the specified quality, standards, and supply were met. He said that the domestically produced goods were used in the communication sector as per the facilities provided by law.

In the meeting, the lawmakers stressed the need to increase the use of Nepal-produced goods in energy and communication sector projects. MP Devendra Poudel said that industrialists should be encouraged to produce the products used in projects and programs under the Ministry of Energy and Communication in Nepal. He said that the imported goods should be controlled by making sure how much is needed for the country and how much is produced here.

Yuvraj Khatiwoda 

MP Somprasad Pandey said that the country's economy could not go up if production could not be increased within the country. He said that policy measures should be taken to encourage the industry to increase production. MP Binda Pandey said that it was not appropriate for any project to have indigenous goods in use in at least three countries. She also demanded that the system be amended as goods produced in the country can be exported to other countries only if used by one's own country.

In the meeting, the lawmakers urged Finance Minister Khatiwada to make maximum use of the products produced by the indigenous industries. He said that the imported goods should be protected even if the customs duty is increased in case they cannot compete with the domestically produced goods. 

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