KATHMANDU: ‘The Investment Board Nepal organised an interaction on 30 March with senior political leaders to discuss pertinent issues in relation to infrastructure project development. Leaders responsible for infrastructure development in their respective parties were invited to the half-day interaction, entitled ‘Problems, Challenges and Opportunities in Infrastructure Projects’. Delays to infrastructure projects have inflicting huge losses on the nation and developers in Nepal. The purpose of the interaction was to secure support from political parties for the smooth implementation of big infrastructure projects and address the various obstacles in the execution process.
On the occasion, Uttam Bhakta Wagle, joint secretary of IBN, welcomed the participants. IBN CEO, Maha Prasad Adhikari, then gave a presentation updating participants on progress in the implementation of IBN-facilitated infrastructure projects. Adhikari also sought support from the political leaders to ensure the smooth implementation of projects and remove existing bottlenecks. He emphasised the existing barriers in the project execution process. He also outlined the problems facing the project; he said that the acquisition of private and government land, political instability, delays in the construction of transmission lines for the distribution of electricity, legal barriers and the high expectations of local people are the key challenges facing development projects. Shedding light on the economic benefits of infrastructure projects, Adhikari also urged political leaders to work together for the development agenda, remove legal hurdles and build opinion in favour of IBN so that we can attract private investment to Nepal. After this presentation, Madhu Bhetuwal, technical Joint Secretary at IBN, responded to the queries raised by participants.
The leaders from the major political parties taking part in the interaction were Surendra Pandey and Pushpajyoti Dhungana of CPN ( UML), Umesh Shrestha of Nepali Congress, Geeta Rana and Rameshwor Raya Yadav of the Madheshi People’s Right Forum (Democratic), Shiva Chandra Chaudhary of CPN (ML), Hari Krishna Gajurel, Deepak Shahi, Suresh Shrestha and Krishna Gurung of CPN (Revolutionary Maoist), Pushkar Dhungel of RPP, Janak Raj Sharma and Ghanashyam Neupane of National People’s Front, Leelamani Pokharel of CPN (Maoist Center), and Rajaram Paswan and Sarita Kumari Sah of Sadbhawana. These influential leaders expressed their views on implementation modalities and the investment climate for implementing large-scale projects. Most of the participants stressed the need to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects by creating a favourable environment for investment. They also urged the government to encourage the ownership of infrastructure projects by local people so that the implementation process is more comfortable for developers. ♦