Pawan Golyan, who is also the chairman of NMB Bank, is currently the chairman of the Confederation of Banks and Financial Institutions Nepal. Golyan also runs a commercial agricultural firm. A conversation with Mr. Golyan, chairman of Golyan group.
How do you assess the current state of Global Pandemic?
Almost all industries and businesses are now gradually opening, though the problem of industries are also in its place. In some of the buckets, indeed the workers are having a hard time, which we all have to recognize. In current circumstances, if small industries and businesses could get started, those workers will definitely discover some assistance. We must go forward to benefit those workers.
As you know, Youth who have gone for foreign employment are in verge of returning to Nepal due to the current situation. It will fetch two challenges for the country. First, the youth must provided with the employment opportunity and second the remittance which have been entering to the country will significantly reduce. How do you see these two aspects here?
Speaking of remittances, Nepal received about 7 to 8 billion dollars last year. Had it not been the lockdown, remittances would have flooded in at over 8 billion this year.
we are yet to realise that we have been losing about 3.5 billion dollars to India annually as we have about 300,000 migrant Indian workers who have been working in the Brick industry in Nepal. Likewise, about 50000 Indian workers are currently working in constructions industry, and some are working as a barber. If we could teach the skills to our youth, we could easily generate the employment opportunity to them.
As I have seen, there are two types of people returning from abroad. The first categories are those who have experience of working in different stations abroad and the second category having experience in various other sectors. These skills of the people could engender three types of industrialist in Nepal. Being a president of the Confederation of Banks and finance, I may perhaps say that the capital they bring in will change not just the Nepal’s Industrial sector but will also change the face of whole economy of the country.
Due to the lockdown, there is a growing public awareness that soil is life. How can this imply to real life?
To understand this context, first, there should be a good coordination among the three levels of government. Under the federal government, local level entity needs to enquire about the land required to each farmer to do the farming by agro-processing. Likewise, it is very essential to substantiate the condition of the farmer and their income sources. Moreover, the government should also make arrangements of proper storage facility. Similarly, the government should be able to map the land.
There has been a huge dissatisfaction of people towards the work of the government at every level. In such situation, how would the coordination be possible as you said? What could be asked to prime minister? Of course, coordination is not an easy task as it may sound. Therefore, the Prime minister himself should take the chairmanship of the agriculture sector and monitor it directly. AT the same time, the local governments of all three levels should also closely monitor.
For instances, the government has used the budget in the agriculture sector in the last two years was not development oriented. The budget was sufficient enough, but the deluging trend was not practical. Farmers never make progress from deluging money. It should be understood. There will be no progress in agriculture unless farmers can be independent. I urge Prime Minister to spend some time with the farmers.
Due to the Corona Pandemic, there have been many problems experienced in the operation of the bank. What is its impact on the bank’s real business deposit collection and loan disbursement?
Despite the downturn, deposit collection has been significantly increased. Since the existing projects have been halted, its quite obvious that there will be a recession in loan disbursement.
Overall, customers are the backbone of the bank. So we are working on how to move forward for the customers. We have been taking steps on how to refinance rs 100 Million, mainly for small borrowers. We are working on providing 10 to 20 percent loan to small borrower without adding collateral if needed.
Similarly, I believe that the the interest and instalments that have been taken by bank against the provided loan should be postponed for some time and necessary expenses should paid for the debtors. I believe that if the customers survive then bank will automatically survive.
You are the lender and you are the borrower. A bank operator, and also an industrialist. I would like to narrate an incident in front of you. A debtor who opened a small shop in Kathmandu by pledging the land bought with money made from abroad, had to face the lockdown within two months of opening the shop. Now he has no money to run the shop after the lockdown. The bank now asks for the loan instalment and the landlord ask for rents. There is no cash in hand, and the chances of coming to road is unavoidable. The debtor’s question to you is : If he commit suicide, will his debt be forgiven?
I found this story very heart-breaking. In such case, he will definitely get a loan to resume his business. Neither the state nor the bank should create such situation where one has to opt for suicide. The bank can provide him 10 to 20 percent of the required amount to buy raw materials in addition to the amount of capital he needs by keeping the bank’s interest and bank instalments aside. According to the policy brought by the National Bank, he gets 10 percent. Moreover, we, the bankers, should understand such problems as much as possible. There is nothing to worry about.
The Golyan Group is opening a garment industry with an investment of Rs 100 billion and 50 types of agricultural industries across the country. On the other hand, The Confederation of Banks and Financial Institutions, of which you are the chairman, has been lobbying for indirect access to black money. Pawan Golyan does not follow the law. You have also been accused of trying to bring in black money in the name of investment by using your bank and confederation. What is the reality?
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to clarify these allegations towards me. The first things is, I didn’t say that I am myself going to open 10000 industries. A far as I am concerned, 10000 garment industries are needed in Nepal to generate the adequate no. of employment to the general people.
And I have said that it will require some one trillion investment for the purpose. It does not mean that I am myself investing all these monies. I am not in state of staring new ventures for myself. I have even handed over some of the existing industries to my son & daughter in law already. I am just thinking of doing something for my country now.
Regarding the black money- I will tell you from where this matter came from. Listen, the Bank and the Financial Confederation issued a statement and told the finance minister and the governor that we had to bring in capital from outside in the aftermath of the Corona. You may have noticed that Nepalis living abroad have savings.
I have tried to bring the same money to Nepal. Let me tell you an incident, about six years ago, I attended the NRN conference in the United States. Even then, I was the chairman of NMB Bank. The Nepalis there requested me to open a branch of NMB Bank in the United States. But I told them to send money to Nepal through a bank.
Now we have to recreate our country after Corona. But very little money has been allocated in the budget for development.
About Rs 9 trillion has been spent on current expenditure only. Now, as I said before, if the money of Nepalis from the United States and abroad can come to Nepal, then the money from hundi through the bank could be legalised. What I want to make clear is that if money comes to the bank from the hundi, then let it come.” “even now up to 5 million dollars such money is coming to Nepal every year by this means.
And look at another thing, up to 1.5 million rupees is now kept under the bed in the village. Those monies could not get deposited into the bank as per the government’s rules. What I would like to suggest here is, if those monies get deposited into bank in the name of a woman, then the bank should deposit those monies, there should not be provision of showing the income source in such scenario. Is it bad to try to make all Nepalis autonomous in their own country by accumulating such money, to create an environment for everyone’s own business?
Finally, if there are anything you would like to tell us?
I would like to request to all Nepali brothers and sisters living abroad, return to Nepal, bring the capital you have saved. Let us do something here in our country, let us do business together. Contact me for this and I will show you the path. Let us build country together. Let us wear Nepali, eat Nepali, live as Nepali. By doing so, the country will be steady itself.
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