NRB open to promote gems, jewelry biz

KATHMANDU, Apr 5: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Governor Chiranjibi Nepal on Saturday said that the central bank was open to idea of introducing policies to promote gems and jewelry business as demanded by the bullion traders to rise the import quota.

Currently, the central bank has fixed the gold import quota to 15kg a day. Although only commercial banks are allowed to import the yellow metal, the market has been filled by smuggled gold.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 11th AGM of Nepal Gem and Jewellery Association (Negja), Nepal said the central bank would help uplift the sector, highlighting the jewelry business’ contribution in employment generation.

Negja Chairman Manish Lal Pradhan said the gems and jewelry of Nepal has a huge export potential and that the government should come up with clear policies to promote the business.

“Nepal’s jewelry craftsmanship has its own genesis and typology. It can create a niche in the global market, provided there is a government support,” Pradhan said, adding Negja has already signed a MoU with Solitaire Gemological Laboratories, India for a technology transfer to establish a gem lab in the country.

“If we succeed to do so, we can brand Nepali jewelry,” he said. Rishi Raj Koirala, joint secretary at Ministry of Industry, said the entrepreneurs with registered firms for exports of gems and jewelry could benefits from the facilities provided by the Industrial Enterprises Act.