The government today extended the deadline for implementation of new standards to regulate crusher industries till mid January 2015 bowing down to the pressure from crusher entrepreneurs.
Economic and Infrastructure Committee – chaired by Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat – under the cabinet allowed renewing the licences of the crushers that were protesting the government decision to ban crushers. The move is expected to ease supply of sand and aggregates as thee crusher industries have been creating artificial shortage to pressurise the government not to implement.
Earlier, the cabinet had extended the deadline from mid-April to mid-July on the pressure of crusher operators. entrepreneurs took to the streets protesting the decision to standardise crusher industry, after the last deadline ended in mid-July.
Majority of crusher industries have failed to abide by the new standards that require them to keep their plant at a certain distance from rivers, forests, highways and human settlements. They have also not kept record of new mining from quarries.
Likewise, they are also required to conduct environmental impact studies, according to the new standard.
The government decided to relax the ban as the development works stalled due to shortage of stones, boulders, pebbles, sand and aggregates, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers Shanta Raj Subedi said, adding that the decision won´t make much impact on environment as crusher industries have huge raw materials in stock.
The government has also announced incentives including income tax holiday and rescheduling of bank loans for crusher industries, if they abide by the new standards.
Crushers even barred 32 crusher industries – which meet the new standards set by the government – from sending their products in the market to pressurise the government.
Though there are around 600 registered crusher industries in the country, only some 350 of them are currently in operation.