By Our Reporter
A bizarre fact has been revealed about cloth being used by Nepalis. According to a new report published by The Rising Nepal, 80 per cent cloth in Nepal is brought illegally, which has not only affected domestic textile industries but also the government revenues.
Every year about 800 million metres cloth are imported illegally from China and India into Nepal, which has had a multitude of negative impacts on the domestic textile industry, employment and revenue, according to a recent estimate of the Nepal Textile Association (NTA).
The country needs about 1billion metres of cloth for body wear and other commercial purposes. About 80 per cent is used to make clothes while the rest is used to create commercial products like curtains, cushions, bags and other items. And 80 per cent of the total requirement of the country is met through the illegally imported cloth.
Of the total cloth requirement, about 70 million metres are produced in Nepal, and about 130 million metres are imported via various customs points. It shows that only 200 million metres of cloth are legally produced or imported in Nepal.
A report prepared by the association mentions that the per capita cloth demand per annum is about 30 metres.
The illegally imported cloth has snatched away thousands of jobs, a large market share and billions of rupees in revenue.
According to a report submitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and prepared by the Ministry of Industry, commerce and Supplies, United Nations Development Fund and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2002, the textile industry in Nepal faced problems due to cheap smuggled fabrics mainly from Tibet/China.
Production of textiles in FY 2000/2001 was 20 million metres, enough to meet only 5.7 per cent of domestic demand, and the country imported about 47.6 million metres, 13.6 per cent of the demand.