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Maoists shut Dabur's Nepal factory news
04 September 2008

Dabur India's wholly-owned subsidiary, Dabur Nepal, which has recently become a target for Maoists, has been forced to shut down by the Maoists-affiliated union, the 'All Nepal Trade Union Federation Revolutionary' (ANTUFR).

Last week, trade union leader Rajesh Thakur had given Dabur a 72-hour closure ultimatum if its demand for a a 10-per cent bonus for the 700 employees working at the factory was not met.

It forced Dabur Nepal to go public with its profit figures of NRs25.6 million, which was rejected by the union as concocted. It wanted the "real" figures to be made public.

Last month, Dabur Nepal was stopped from holding the annual 'Miss Nepal 2008' beauty pageant  by the Maoists women's association, which raided the offices of the event managers Hidden Treasurers, before locking it.

Senior Maoist leader Khim Lal Devkota said, it was futile to talk about industrial security until the workers get their rights and welfare is guaranteed. "When the workers are exploited and underpaid and their welfare is neglected, how can we assure security of industries?'' Devkota asked.

Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had promised last month to bring in an economic revolution and said his government would encourage foreign investors.

Media reports citing business sources say that Maoists have sent warning letters to Indian companies asking them not to hire Indians at a higher salary than what they pay their Nepali employees

A few five star hotels as well as a leading Nepalese newspaper that employs a large number of Indians have received simailar letters.

Dabur Nepal has been losing production days due to the Maoist unrest in Nepal, which had immense downstream consequences in terms of product availability.

Dabur is rapidly building up its presence outside India as an FMCG. It already has production facilities in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sharjah, Egypt and Nigeria and is all set to enter Pakistan by opening a new packing plant, which will eventually become a manufacturing facility. Another production unit is coming up in UAE later this year.

Dabur's total international sales are about Rs400 crore or about 16 per cent of its total sales, out of which Nepal accounts for Rs40 crore.

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Maoists shut Dabur's Nepal factory