PM Oli inaugurated Nepal Ship Office in Ekantakuna, Lalitpur today.
PM’s chief advisor Bishnu Rimal tweeted the image of a card issued by the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport that read “A ship office is being established for the first time in the history of Nepal.
His Excellency Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is inaugurating the office. Today a dream is taking its first step. Where there is will, there is way.”
Earlier, on May 17, 2016, PM Oli on behalf of government had wished to open new transit points for shipping of cargo and to operate a harbour after acquiring it.
At the time, people were divided on Oli’s statement where some had even ridiculed PM’s statement as a joke when he said, “We ourselves will buy ship and bring goods into the country within three days. Ships flying the Nepali flag will sail in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.”
PM Oli had further assured that the work was underway to mobilise volunteers for the purpose.
Regarding owning and operation of ships, and establishing a shipping company, the private sector had argued that Nepal’s cost of trade was high not because of the ocean freight cost but due to the high cost of trade in Indian transit.
The private sector had further suggested PM Oli who is also Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair, then CPN-UML chair, to approach the southern neighbour to develop a dedicated railway line from the Indian seaports to Nepal through which traders could ferry goods from and to Indian ports within a few days.
Moreover, experts have argued that it would be challenging for the country to generate any significant returns by operating its own ship. For instance, neighbouring India has failed to generate profit from the Shipping Corporation of India, the government-owned shipping company. Watch full video report right here: