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MoICS to Announce Startup Policy in Nepal, Find Benefits

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MoICS) is soon issuing a startup policy in Nepal to promote entrepreneurship. Currently, the ministry has proceeded with the policy at the National Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry for suggestions.

Startups are a mainstream trend and are called upon by all as a key foundation in modern-day society to uplift a state’s economy. While entrepreneurship is brazenly growing in Nepal, the lack of friendly state policy and subsidies have discouraged most enthusiasts who seek to invest their skills and expertise to bring their own product and services to the market.

However, recent developments and calls for a favorable policy and the criticism of the prior “discouraging” policies have allowed the government to rescind some of its earlier-held perceptions and modify the ideas to befit the needs of the youth.

Jiblal Bhusal, the Chief of the Industrial Promotion General Branch office under MoICS, said that the startup policy has been presented at the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance.

“After discussion with the stakeholders, we have formulated the startup policy and sent it to the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance for their opinion,” Bhusal said. “After gathering suggestions, the policy will be submitted to the Council of Ministers.”

Do read: Nepali Startups Can Get Up To Rs 25 Lakh Startup Loan, How to Apply?

The Need for the Policy

The government’s plans and policies have largely remained inconsistent with the startup policy. In recent years, various governments seemed to have adopted the idea of promoting startups and entrepreneurship, however, the lack of clear-cut policies derailed the implementation. Some parliamentarians and experts on the matter have called on the government to implement the startup policy as soon as possible.

startup ideas

Juna Mathema, Chairperson of the Startup Forum of the Federation of Nepal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), says that the startup policy should be issued as soon as possible. “We are discussing with the ministry to bring a startup policy,” said Mathema. “It has been 7-8 years since the budget announced funds for startups.” However, due to a lack of policy, it has not been used. Policy is to guide. Without that, there is a problem.”

Nepal does have the potential for startups and entrepreneurship. Just read: Nepal imported IT services worth Rs 67 billion in 2022

The earlier draft has been revised

The government has significantly revised the draft of the startup policy. The MoICS was heavily criticized for the draft, and experts said that the ideas put into the draft would erode the entrepreneurs’ confidence and only favor a few startups in the country. However, Bhusal says that many facets of the draft have been revised.

“Compared to the previous draft, many policies have been revised in the policy submitted to the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry for opinion. We have also discussed the policy at the provincial level and at several stages, he said.

The country has no clear definition of what a Startup is. Due to this, it’s hard to promote startups. A policy in place would define Startups, set structures, and help promote it with resources and guidelines. This would also help issue confessional loans and target schemes to encourage startups. Also read: Meta appoints Httpool by Aleph as a sales partner in Nepal

A startup policy would also define laws and conditions for startups and bring the sector within the state regulation. This would help in ensuring the safety and security of the investment and resources too.

FNCCI has started a campaign to make Nepal a startup country by 2030.  A state-level policy would make startups more approachable for all. So far, largely the private sectors have upheld entrepreneurship in Nepal. This might change when the government issues a startup policy in Nepal.

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