Crusher entrepreneurs stage sit-in at Bhairahawa customs

BUTWAL, Aug 3: Promoters of crusher industries on Monday staged a sit-in at Bhairahawa Customs Office of Nepal for two hours, demanding that the government revised its decision to raise export duties on stones, crushed stones and stone mix.

They have also threatened to further intensify their protest if the government failed to address their demands within the next three days.

Earlier, through the budget speech, Finance Minister Surendra Pandey had raised export duty on crushed stones by 122 percent and stone mix by 185 percent to curb illegal excavation of stone and sand. Following the hike in duty, the entrepreneurs had met Pandey and had explained the latter that such a rise in export duty would sharply increase their operational cost and would directly hit exports. Responding to the demands, the minister had assured the entrepreneurs to take their demands seriously and review the government’s decision. But the government has done nothing in this direction so far. This has infuriated the entrepreneurs.

The crusher industry has been providing employment to around 95,000 people, including 3,500 truck drivers and helpers. There are 51 crusher industries in Rupandehi of Nepal and the investment in the sector stands at about Rs 2 billion.

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