Nepal has long been committed to the principles of proportionality, inclusivity, and participation. These values are reflected in its laws and regulations, which seek to ensure economic equality and social justice. By guaranteeing equal access to business activities for all, irrespective of their backgrounds, we can create a diverse, inclusive, equal, and prosperous society. The lower start-up costs, space for innovation, and autonomy afforded by sole proprietorship businesses can be especially crucial for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized and rendered powerless.
In this regard, streamlining and simplifying the private firm registration process is a crucial step forward for Nepal. Under the Private Firm Registration Act, a private firm is defined as a company formed by a single person for the purpose of exploring industry, trade, or business under any name. Following the shift to federalism, each order of government is now autonomous to enact its own laws. As a result, the Gandaki Province Assembly has passed its own Private Firm Registration Act, making it the third law of 2078.
The Act is designed to promote inclusivity, diversity, and equality. Section 4 of the Act waives 50% of the registration fee for women, disabled persons, Dalits, individuals from backward regions, and those from poor backgrounds. Similarly, Section 5 waives 50% of the renewal fee for these groups for their first renewal. While these incentives are a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to ensure that marginalized groups have access to economic opportunities.
To achieve true inclusivity, businesses owned by marginalized groups should receive special official recognition. This recognition should come with access to opportunities that might not otherwise be available to people of these communities. Such opportunities could include procurement benefits, marketing and networking opportunities, training and technical assistance, tax incentives, and special grants and loans. The goal should be to create a business environment where all people, regardless of their differences, are welcomed, valued, and respected.
Summing up, Nepal’s commitment to proportionality, inclusivity, and participation has been a cornerstone of its legal and regulatory framework. The Private Firm Registration Act, demonstrates this commitment to ensuring economic equality and social justice. Nonetheless, there remains a pressing need to guarantee that marginalized segments of society are able to avail themselves of economic prospects. It is imperative to provide distinctive recognition and opportunities to such groups to foster an all-encompassing and thriving society, where every individual has an equitable prospect of success.
An undergraduate Law student at Tribhuvan University. Passionate about legal issues and advocacy.