Nima | Gelephu

Jigmeling, Sarpang. After a rather long wait, the industrial estate is growing by the day. Investors are coming in and opportunities are growing.

Groundbreaking ceremony of ten other industrial firms took place at the estate on Tuesday.

Thom Bista’s Kraft Paper Private Ltd. is a kraft (paperboard or cardboard) manufacturing company that aims to produce eco-friendly packaging materials to replace plastic in the country. It is worth Nu 240 million and spreads over a four-acre estate.

“There is no shortage of investors if our young people come up with good business ideas and are willing to take risks,” said Thom Bista. “There could even be support from the government.”

So far, however, not a single company has been able to process loan through national credit guarantee scheme wherein the government covers a certain portion of loans availed to start a viable business.

“If we don’t get support from the scheme, it would be a big loss. We have invested over Nu 1.5 million,” said Thom Bista.

At Kraft Paper Private Ltd., waste papers such as corrugated and whiteboards will be recycled and turned into kraft paper that can be used for packaging.

“This fits in well with the government’s plan to impose a ban on plastics. The ban could not be implemented so far because there is no such packaging material,” Thom Bista said.

There is a demand for kraft paper in neighbouring India.

The infrastructure development at more than 700-acre industrial park is being carried out in phases.

The project has allocated land to 51 promoters to date.

“Of course the processes such as documentation and clearance approval take time, but we should understand that it is our duty to ensure that the environment is not affected and that we meet standard quality,” said Chief Engineer Kezang Deki.

The site development and construction work are expected to take at least a year to complete.

The project is planning to tender water supply works to new contractors. A report from the Royal Audit Authority early this year stated that the industrial activities were not picking up due to lack of water supply.

The ministry of economic affairs has developed a guideline that would guide the use of materials and types of structure the industries should develop on the plots.

“With the guideline in place, it is easier for us to approve the drawing now,” Kezang Deki said.

The plan to establish the biggest industrial park in Jigmeling began in 2009.

“Ten investors are ready to start their works on the land allocated to them. People are excited about the recent development,” said Sarpang Dzongdag Karma Galay.

He said that a single investor had the potential to create at least 150 job opportunities in the initial phase. “This would be a big opportunity for the youth.