Nepal’s apex industrial body Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) is preparing to elect its new president at a time when the industrial sector has been passing though a very uncertain period characterized by slumps and shutdowns.
Tycoons Suraj Vaidya and Azad Shrestha are travelling across the country to woo voters with promises to bring about a drastic change in the industrial sector.
“My candidacy is for the protection of industries and industrialists,” thunders Vaidya.
“I will do my best to protect the rights of industrialists,” roars Shrestha, adding, “I will work to promote harmony among all stakeholders.”
In terms of experience, exposure and personality, Vaidya has no match. His international exposure and personal capacity to negotiate with foreign investors will be a real asset in attracting the much needed foreign direct investment.
This skill was what had been lacking in the FNCCI leadership after Binod Kumar Chaudhari and Padma Jyoti.
Known for his internal leadership quality at the national level, Azad Shrestha too has many qualities. He is bold and strong.
As the country has been passing through a very crucial period interspersed with bursts of anarchy, Vaidya, son of Gajananda, may be the right choice. His capability is going to be an asset for FNCCI.
In view of the industrial unrest, and the need for foreign investment and for restoring image of Nepal’s prestigious apex body FNCCI in the international level, Vaidya’s leadership is required. Had Vaidya been chosen as a consensus candidate, it would have been the ideal choice in the present context when FNCCI is facing a serious crisis in all fronts.
In the past, FNCCI was the sole organization of industrialists and business groups, but now organizations like Confederation of Nepalese Industry (CNI) led by charismatic industrialist Binod Chaudhari are there.
Other small industrial groups are also coming up to challenge the existence of FNCCI at the local level. This way Vaidya’s leadership will be worth a try for FNCCI. Despite differences about many issues, nobody dares to challenge Vaidya’s personality.
“At this juncture, Vaidya will be an asset for the umbrella organization like FNCCI,” says Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnicar, vice-presidential candidate. “I think Vaidya will secure an overwhelming victory.”
Pokhara based industrialist Azad Shrestha is no less known at the local level. “FNCCI needs a personality like Azad who is daring and fights for the right of industrialists,” says former president of FNCCI Mahesh Lal Pradhan. At the local level, Shrestha is said to have a strong lobby. Backed by outgoing president Kush Kumar Joshi, Azad is hoping to secure votes from districts.