Govt positive about revising tax on footwear raw materials: Minister

KATHMANDU: The government is mulling over revising the customs duty on imported raw materials used in domestic footwear industry. Ministry of Industry (MoI), lately, has acknowledged the need to reduce customs duty on footwear raw materials in the bid to make domestic footwear industry competitive.

Minister for Industry, Karna Bahadur Thapa spoke about the govenrment plan following traders demand that the margin between custom duty on imported raw materials and finished footwear products be maintained at at least 15 percent so that domestic footwear products can compete with imported footwear.

Speaking at the launching Coral footwear brand in the capital on Saturday, Minister Thapa said “We are positive about revising the customs duty on the raw materials used by footwear industry.”
According to Thapa, the Industrial Enterprises Act that the government is set to introduce soon will hopefully address the issue. “Footwear industry is among the fastest growing industry in Nepal,” said Thapa adding “The government is committed to addressing all just demands.”

According to traders, the state has been charging almost 13 percent customs duty on footwear raw materials and 15 percent on imported finished footwear products.

Thapa also opined that Nepal should look for ways to produce raw materials required for footwear industry.

Traders have insisted that the government should keep the custom duty margin between raw materials and finished footwear products by at least 15 percent to make Nepali footwear competitive in the domestic market. “Reduction in customs duty on raw materials will make domestic footwear products cheaper, thus, will be proffered over foreign brands,” Hom Nath Upadhyay, president of Nepal Federation of Leather Goods Manufacturers Associations said.

He also urged the government to conduct effective monitoring to prevent malpractices in the domestic footwear industry. “Some unscrupulous traders have been found importing cheaper foreign-manufactured footwear and selling them under local brand names. The govenrment should take action against such traders,” Upadhyay demanded.

Coral Shoes launched
KATHMANDU (REPUBLICA): Coral Shoes Company has launched a mew footwear line in Kathmandu on Saturday. The company launched casual, sports, party and boot varieties. Speaking at the launch, Pramesh Bishunge, chairman of the company said, “Our products are economical and of good quality so we hope that customers will love them.”

According to him, the company has its production plant in Thankot and has the capability to manufacture 500 pairs of shoes a day.

The company has employed 155 people and produces 150 different types of footwear. Bishunge informed that the company, besides exploring the domestic market, has also started to export its products to Japan and Korea among other countries.

Meanwhile, the company has appointed actor Rajesh Hamal as the brand ambassador of Coral Shoes.

“Domestic footwear industry needs to focus on branding as customers these days are getting increasingly brand conscious,” Hamal said at the function.

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