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Maoists' General strike.

KATHMANDU, April 30 -- The indefinite general strike called by the UCPN (Maoist) from May 2 has put entrepreneurs in a confused state of mind. Though they still have hopes that the political parties would diffuse the political confrontation, they fear that indefinite strike would lead the economy into collapse.

Industries are in the closure list during the banda from May 2. Be it sporadic bandas or the planned strike that has been announced by the UCPN (Maoists), it is the productivity of the business establishment that is badly hit. "Production of goods from a factory is a regular process," said Diwakar Golchha, a noted industrialist.

Entrepreneurs said if they manufactured more than the usual amount before strikes, the produced materials may not be delivered to the market. That's why they said it was not necessary to manufacture more before bandas. Vice president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Pradeep Jung Pandey said he had not made any preparation for general strikes as industrial activities cannot take place during the strikes. His group is involved in many business activities including pharmaceuticals.

In the export sector, exporters said they are trying to fulfill their orders before the strike begins but other impediments including power cuts are slowing the process.

Industrialist Atma Ram Murarka said that he was failing take any decision regarding whether he would shut down his industries during the general strike. "The likely scenario has not been clear yet and we cannot say to the workers not to come to work at this point," he said. His group is involved in the production of vegetable ghee and oil, cement and steel.

Some workers of K.D. Shoe, a leather shoes manufacturing factory, went home citing the general strike to meet their families in Biratnagar.

The Maoists have termed the general strike decisive that will bring down the incumbent government but have opened the door for dialogue to settle the ongoing political problems.

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Publication:Kathmandu Post (Kathmandu, Nepal)
Date:Apr 30, 2010
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