'I Am From Media Industry' : Rajkarnikar

Senior vice president Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar is contesting for the president of Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in the forthcoming elections. Rajkarnikar spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT about his agenda.

April 5, 2014, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No. -19 Apr. 04- 2014 (Chaitra 21, 2070)

Why should your members vote for you?

Members want a person who has the understanding of the economic agenda and problems of the private sector and the capability to implement policy and fight for the cause, if necessary. Our voters want a leader who defends their interests, but not a competitor who cares for the interests of particular industrialists.  FNCCI is an association of diverse groups, as it has 93 municipal and district branches, 91 commodities related members, 20 bilateral and 607 associated members.

At a time when so many former presidents are against you, how do you defend your cause?

It does not matter how many former presidents backed whom. Our members now know who is capable and who is incapable. They also know the quality of candidates. As I have been with the establishment of FNCCI during all the crucial and difficult times of our members, I don’t want to create doubts on the intention of our members. They will vote for me. 

What prompted you to contest the elections?

FNCCI has a long tradition to choose senior fist vice-president as the president. Since I have been associated with FNCCI for over 20 years and I am now first senior vice president, it is my natural claim to contest the elections. I am contesting the election with the overwhelming support within FNCCI.

What difference will you make in place your competitor?

Having worked for such a long period of time in different positions, I know the problems faced by Nepal’s industrialists. As a first senior vice president, it is my right to contest the election for president.

What are your agenda for elections?

I have clear agenda. I want to work to strengthen the role of the private sector. I will promote the concept of Public-Private Partnership effectively at the implementation level. I don’t want to make a tall claim. My only mission is to protect and promote the cause of private sector and industries. As Nepal is in the process of drafting a new constitution, there should be provision in the constitution to guarantee our rights. I am prepared to take any kind of action to protect our rights. If necessary, we must prepare to go to streets.

What are the other agenda?

There is the need to take the private sector in socio-economic decision making process. I will fight to bring a Chamber Law. We will amend the constitution of FNCCI in six months as per the changing social and economic contexts.

Your rivals are saying that you don’t have any industry, thus you are inexperienced. How do you look at this comment?

It is nothing. In the last two decades, nobody raised such a question about me. I don’t understand why they are doing so now. So far as my involvement is concerned I represent the media industry. The traditional concept of terming those whose industry released smoke as industrialists has already changed. Bill Gates is regarded as a big industrialist but he does not have an industry that releases smoke. I have been running the media industry with over 450 employees. I don’t think I need to start a crusher industry or brick kiln to be an industrialist.

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