Minutes of the 12th Annual General
Date: Monday, January 21, 2008
Venue: The Everest Hotel, New
As the quorum for the meeting was
adequate, the business session was commenced by the President Mr.
Mahendra Krishna Shrestha at 2:00 pm as scheduled. He welcomed all
the members to the 12th Annual General Meeting of the
In his opening remarks, President Mr. Shrestha informed that the past year was a sad year for the chamber with the passing away of two prominent leaders from our business community, our chamber’s founder president Mr. Hulas Chand Golchha and our IPP, Rajendra Khetan’s father Mr. Mohan Gopal Khetan. He then requested to all stand to observe one minute silence in memory of Mr. Golchha and Mr. Khetan and pray their souls rest in peace. He noted that their enormous contributions to the establishment and development of the Chamber, and the development of Nepal are well documented and shall be treasured for years to come. They were very dynamic personality and had contributed a lot for the development of Nepal.
President Mr. Shrestha then introduced the newly appointed Deputy Head of Mission Mrs. Sophia Willitts-King, DHM British Embassy and Permanent Observer of the Chamber. He informed that she has started her career in October 1995 with OECD in Paris, and formally joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) from September 1996. He then wishes her best of luck in her future endeavors with the British Embassy along with the Chamber. She could be the great asset not only for our Chamber but also for the Nepal as well.
He then requested her to share her views with the members. She mentioned that UK was very much interested in the development and stability of Nepal. She stressed that UK was putting its efforts and focus on the stability of Nepal.
President Mr. Shrestha thanked Mrs. King for her views.
Mr. President then informed that the Chamber has now appointed Mr. P G Karmacharya as a CEO who was in the commercial section in the British Embassy and has worked for more than 20 years. Mr. Karmacharya’s vast experience in this field will be very vital for the Chamber. He also stated that the Chamber will have more fruitful relations with commercial interests in the UK, which hopefully will mean some additional revenue to the Chamber.
He stated that the year 2007 had been a critical one for the country, noting that major political changes took place along with bandhs, industrial unrest etc. Upon this background, the Chamber could not carry out as many programs as planned. He, however, stressed that the Chamber was committed to assisting its members as much as possible for their business interests. In this context, he mentioned that the Chamber had played an active role in the Industrial Security Group during the past year and that it would continue to do so in the future too. Similarly, the Chamber would also try to seek ways of promoting bilateral trade with the UK in the coming year.
He thanked all the members for supporting the Chamber despite the hard times, noting that the number of active members had remained constant, and hoped that the future would be better for all. He added that it is at the same time very important that we receive regular suggestions from the members on how to increase the activities of the chamber. He then requested Vice President-Secretariat, Mr. Sonny Shrestha to present the Annual Report.
Mr. Sonny Shrestha, V P (Secretariat) presented the Annual Report for the year 2063-64. The President asked members if they had any questioned; if not, he requested that it be approved. The Annual Report was unanimously approved as read. The President then requested Vice President-Finance Mr. Ramesh P. Shrestha to present the final accounts for the year 2063-64.
Mr. Ramesh P. Shrestha VP (Finance) presented the Audited Annual Financial Report of the Chamber for the year 2063-64. He informed that this time surprisingly shows a surplus of around Nrs. 92,000. This is quite surprising despite lack of additional revenue streams. This has mainly been possible with the undying support of our members who continue to renew their membership and some cost cutting on the administration expenses. The President asked members if they had any questioned; if not, he requested that it be approved. The Final Accounts was unanimously approved as read.
President Mr. Shrestha thereafter proposed M/s Deoki Bijay & Company as the auditors for the year 2064-65. The proposal was unanimously approved as proposed
President then informed that the amendment in the chamber’s constitution is needed to insert the chamber as a non-profit organization. Hence, it is decided to amend the constitution to define the Chamber as a “Non-profit organization” in Chapter 2 clause (A) of the Constitution. It was unanimously approved during the AGM.
The President then opened the meeting for suggestions and comments from the floor
He requested IPP Mr. Rajendra Khetan to present the concluding remarks
Immediate Past President, Mr. Rajendra K. Khetan mentioned that the Nepali business community was a victim in the present situation. He requested the international community to look into the issue of industrial unrest and arm twisting very seriously as the business community was totally demoralized. He added that the coming weeks were going to be very volatile. Lastly, he requested all the members to be more pro-active.
President, Mr. Shrestha thanked IPP Mr. Khetan for his remarks. He also thanked all the office bearers, executive committee members and the general members for their commendable contributions and support. He further assured that the chamber will continue to work for its members’ interests in future and requested the members to be more proactive.
As no other matters remained for discussion, he concluded the business session of the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Chamber.
The ceremonial session of the 12th AGM of NBCCI was held at 5:00 PM as scheduled. The session was attended by Ambassadors, senior government officials, members of the diplomatic missions to Nepal, prominent businessman, economists and office bearers of various associations, representatives from bi-national chambers of commerce and industries, foreign dignitaries, officials of HMG/Nepal, members, guests, and press & media journalists were among those present.
President Mr. Mahendra K. Shrestha welcomed the Honorable Chief Guest, Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel and Honorable Guest of Honor HE Dr. Andrew Hall by presenting them with bouquet of flowers. Mr. P G Karmacharya, Master of Ceremony, welcomed all present and requested the President to deliver his welcome address.
President Mr. Shrestha first extended warm welcome to all present and thanked both the Chief Guest and Guest of Honor for agreeing to grace the occasion. He mentioned that the past year has been one of the great hope and limited deliverance, but hope nevertheless. He also stated that we cannot just sit back and hope that everything will fall into place and the country will see new heights of growth all on its own, adding, we, the business community, consider ourselves to be the prime movers of change, specially on the economic front, then we must also stand up to the occasion and put in our two bits.
He mentioned that Nepal was going through a very critical phase and stated that all stakeholders must work towards creating a congenial atmosphere for business to operate and grow. He also mentioned that easier mobility of business people between the two countries was necessary for growth of business relations. He also appreciated the support of members towards the Chamber.
Honorable Chief Guest, Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel thereafter formally inaugurated the session by lighting the lamp after which he delivered his address. In his address stated that Nepal needs to discard the felling that it is a yam between two rocks, instead it has to think of the new Nepal as a just and modern nation. He stated that there was a time when people at large thought Nepal was going to be a failed state. Despite all this, it achieved a growth of 4.5% in the last year and he hoped that there would be an average of 5.5% growth in the coming three years. He also informed that the government was coming up with a 3 year interim - plan to achieve such targets.
Next, Guest of Honor and the patron of the chamber, HE Dr. Andrew Hall, in his address, mentioned that there was a good deal to celebrate the last year. Activities have taken place which helped build confidence that Nepal is firmly set on the road to peace. He stressed that the upcoming polls needs to be held as this time there can be no question of failing to meet the deadline.
He also mentioned that the age old relations between UK and Nepal and added that the rising trend of joint ventures was encouraging, for which people to people contact was necessary. He reiterated the government’s policy to give high priority to trade and commerce in a liberal environment. He mentioned that the role of the government would be more as facilitator and urged the business community to develop the tourism sector. He also encouraged the business community to use Nepal as a facilitator of business between India and China. He added that, with cheap labour costs in Nepal, it would lead to lesser establishment costs for business in Nepal. Lastly, he stated that the government was committed to stable law and order situation in the country.
Mr. Rajendra K Khetan, IPP of the chamber then presented the closing remarks. He mentioned that there needs to be a national consensus to take the country forward. He stressed that sustainable peace was a pre-requisite for economic development and that targeted growth rates are too modest.
As part of the closing remarks, he mentioned that the business community has to be treated as an integral part of new Nepal, adding that this requires a change of mindset. He then thanked the Chief Guest, Guest of Honor, the media and all those present for their support and cooperation.
The President thereafter concluded the ceremonial session of the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Chamber.