Nepal’s cement factories have been facing a shortage of clinker after Indian Railways imposed a quota on its import through Raxaul station.
Indian Railways has permitted import of 12 racks of clinker per month through Raxaul from last month. A rack holds 3500-4000t of clinker.
The factories that are dependent on clinker imported through Raxaul consume around 58,000t of clinker a month, but they are getting only 42,000t in a month.
There are 10 clinker-based cement factories in Parsa and Bara. A total of 15 cement factories including another two in Narayangadh and one in Janakpur import clinker through Raxaul. There are 25 cement factories in the country that depend on clinker imported from India. Entrepreneurs complained that they had been compelled to cut production due to the shortage of raw material as a result of the new Indian policy.
"It will increase the cost of production and force us to increase the price of cement," they said. Rajesh Kyal, owner of Star Cement Factory, said they had failed to import adequate clinker due to the new Indian policy. "The Indian policy is hampering our business badly as we are failing to produce enough cement when there is a rising demand to build new houses in the winter," he said.
Nepali entrepreneurs have been affected by the decision of Indian Railways to increase the detention charge six-fold. Indian Railways had withdrawn its decision after the Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industry took the initiative to convince the Indian authorities to withdraw the increased charge. However, Indian Railways has been employing new rules time and again hampering the business of Nepali entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs have indicated the need for consultation even at the state level as the agreements taken place at the national level are not being implemented by the state governments in some cases.
Nepali entrepreneurs are also facing the problem of storing raw materials at the Raxaul railway station as there is not enough space.