Business hit badly as Madhesi unrest continues in Nepal’s Terai region

Birganj (Nepal), Oct.28 (ANI): Continued shutdowns and protests by the Madheshi community has badly affected trade and business activities in the Terai region of Nepal.

Markets in Birganj city are wearing a deserted look.

It’s been over two months; the ongoing unrest in the region has severely affected the trade and business.

Birganj is one of the main trade routes with India and has been facing an estimated daily loss of Rs. 15 billion.

Prabhu Prasad Sarahu, who owns a jewellery shop, says he is unable to pay salary to his staff and to meet financial needs.

Sarahu said, “It’s been over 15 days that the shops are closed. Business here is badly affected due the recent protests which have led the crisis of gas and petroleum products.”

Affected businesses include factories, bank and financial institutions and those related to imports and exports through one of the country’s busiest trade points.

Losses in industrial estates alone are about Rs. 500 million to Rs. 600 million a day.

Ramji Prasad Patel, a trader, said, “Some 22 districts of Madhesh region are affected and majority of the people are suffering. Due to the recent clashes, the daily expenses have increased, school fees has been hiked. We are in great trouble because of the current crisis and our government is not listening to our problem.”

Some traders in Birganj are facing tough time as trading has almost come to a halt.

Vinod Kumar, a businessman, said, “I own a shop here but it’s been more than two and half months the shop is closed. I am going through a bad situation as I don’t have funds to pay salary to my staff and meet my own personal expenses. Entire festival has gone and I am bare handed without any income. My landlord is troubling me and forcing to vacant the shop. I have no option but to leave this place.”

For over two months now, the Madhesi protesters are opposing Nepal’s new Constitution.

The protesting parties have demanded, among other things, withdrawal of armed police force from Terai districts and withdrawal of cases against their leader and cadres and martyrdom status of those killed during protests.

According the Human Rights Watch, at least 45 people were killed during the protests in August and September. (ANI)

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