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    En cashing Celebration

    I recently wrote on the economic benefits of the music industry in a given area/ town. While the article was focused on concerts (leading to a minor week long festival), a more lengthy version of the same can be seen in Brazil’s carnival and others. Nepal is home to pseudo-carnival celebrations in their own definitions be it the Macchindranath Jatra in Lalitpur that stretches over month long celebrations (along with Indra Jatra in Kathmandu and Bisket Jatra in Bhaktapur) which have strong historical and cultural significance but also see the Street Festival in Pokhara which is a more globalised version of a carnival. Continue reading

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  • Major challenges faced by carpet industry- High labour cost and labour related issues

    One of the major challenges faced by enterprises in Nepal is caused due to labour related issues. Due to the sectorial bargaining of the trade unions, the wage rate of labour has increased manifolds in the past. This sectorial bargaining which increased the wage rate is binding to all the firms in the industries including cottage and small. So, the wage rate of the labourers has been increasing in a regular time interval but labour productivity has remained the same. This trend has specifically inhibited the growth of carpet industry. Many cottage and small firms in the carpet industry have been forced to employ the labourers informally as they are unable to pay this increased wage to the formal labourers. Labour costs in Nepal are the highest in all of South Asia, with a total annual cost per worker of U.S Dollar (USD) 1,889, compared to a cost in Sri Lanka of USD 1,619, Pakistan of USD 1,052, India of USD 943, and Bangladesh of USD 789. Between October of 2010 and October 2011, labour costs have increased by 35% for carpet manufacturers in Nepal.

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  • Informal Employment – Major Challenge for Nepal’s Economy

    The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched the third edition of Women and Men in the Informal Economy Report this week. As per the report, world’s two billion workers – about 61.2 percent of globe’s employed population – are in informal economy. This data for Asia-Pacific Region is even higher. The region houses 1.3 billion workers, 68.2 percent of region’s total workforce, who are in the informal employment. Globally, Africa tops the list followed by Arab States, Americas, and Europe and Central Asia where 85.5, 68.6, 40 and 25.1 percent of employment is informal respectively. In addition, 93 percent of globe’s informal employment exists in emerging and developing countries like Nepal. Also, men (63 percent) are found to be more into the informal employments than their women (58.1 percent) counterparts. Of 2 billion people employment informally, only 740 million are women.

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