Private sector to defy strike from tomorrow

Kathmandu: Travel, tourism, factory, business and other private sectors’ representatives have announced that they will resume transportation service from Wednesday defying the nationwide general transportation strike called by the poll-opposing CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance.
Speaking at a face-to-face interaction programme organised by Reporters Club Nepal in capital today, Saroj Sitaula, treasurer of National Transport Entrepreneurs Federation of Nepal said that the transportation service will start from Wednesday as usual. He said that vehicles remained off the road as the entrepreneurs were skeptical about the government’s compensation announcement for the damaged vehicle as they had not got the compensation earlier in time. Claiming that the entrepreneurs were always against any types of banda, he argued that they could not ply their vehicles in the street due to lack of security. “The government has agreed with us today in the issues of compensation, medical treatment and insurance. The transportation service will resume from tomorrow,” said Sitaula.
Shambhu Prasad Nepal, secretary of Nepal transportation Independent Labourers Union, said that the government has agreed on the issues of security, compensation and medical treatment today so vehicular movement will start from Wednesday.  Stating that the banda enforced at the eve of the historical Constituent Assembly election was a betrayal to the people, he also urged the government to ensure the security for the resumption of the transportation service.
General Secretary of All Nepal Transportation Labourer Association, Rajendra Sharma, condemned the CPN-Maoist’s banda, imposed to create difficulties to the people, instead of resolving the political problems through political way. Urging all transport entrepreneurs to resume their services, he warned that the CPN-Maoist will be blemished if the CA polls are foiled due to its banda.
Federation of Nepal Chambers of Industries and Commerce (FNCCI) vice-president Pradeep Jung Pandey said that banda was a betrayal to the nation. He also urged the voters to cast their votes to the party that makes commitment for not imposing any strikes. Though 70 per cent of the factories are running despite banda, he shared, they have not been able to transport their production and the labourers are unable to join the work due to the vehicular halt.
Nepal Chamber of Commerce president Suresh Kumar Basnet lamented that the factories are not being able to ferry the manufactured productions to the market due to the transportation strike.  He further underlined the need of government’s commitment for the security to continue the vehicular movement during the strike. Noting that a day of band incurs the loss of 30 billion rupees to the nation, he warned that the factories and businesses in Nepal could not flourish if the situation remains the same. Basnet also urged the banda enforcers to sit in the dialogue with the government to resolve the problems rather than resorting into the bandha programmes.
Likewise, Chairman of Tourist Guide Association of Nepal, Hareram Baral, warned that the tourism sector would face a crisis if the banda particularly during the tourist peak season are not defied. Informing that many tourists are cancelling their bookings, he said 50 per cent tourist guides have been rendered workless and 50 per cent hotels have become vacant due to the banda programmes. He also stressed the need to mention in the would-be constitution that bandas will not be allowed in Nepal. “Banda will send negative message in the international tourism market,” he said.
Sarad Pradhan from Nepal Tourism Board said that many tourists have been stranded in Kathmandu due to the transportation strike. “This situation will create an adverse impact in tourism industry,” he warned.
Similarly, Thamel Tourism Development Council chairman Ramsharan Thapaliya urged the government and agitating parties to sit for the dialogue to end the banda. He also accused the government for ignoring the issues and problems of the tourism entrepreneurs. “Political parties are demanding donation from the businessman imposing banda,” he said.