High-level delegation visits industrial districts in Bagmati and Gandaki provinces

KATHMANDU: A high-level delegation from the Government of Nepal visited different industrial districts in Bagmati and Gandaki Provinces from December 1 to 4, 2020. The team was led by the Secretary of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies (MOICS) Mr. Chandra Kumar Ghimire. Other members of the delegation were OIBN CEO Mr. Sushil Bhatta, Chairman of Industrial District Management Ltd. (IDML) Mr. Nanda Kishor Basnet, Joint Secretary of MOICS Mr. Balaram Rijyal, Senior Divisional Engineer of OIBN Mr. Sagar Gautam, other officials from IDML, the Special Economic Zone Authority, and OIBN consulting staffs. During the four-day visit, the team observed Simara SEZ – Block B & C (Bara), the Hongshi Shivam Cement project site (Nawalparasi East), Mayurdhap Industrial Park (Makawanpur), and Shaktikhor Industrial Park (Chitwan). The visit was organized to observe the progress in the development and operation of industrial zones, identify pertinent issues (if any), and monitor project development components. The team interacted with various government stakeholders, local people’s representatives, and local businesspeople to identify any bottlenecks and coordination-related issues that need to be resolved through coordination between relevant government agencies. The delegation also observed good practices being applied by Hongshi Shivam Cement, the largest cement project in the country.
Meanwhile, on December 2, the government delegation interacted with senior officials of the Hongshi Shivam Cement Project including its chairman Mr. V. N. Goel and General Manager Mr. Lui Sugang. During the interaction, project officials briefed the delegation on the project’s status and pertinent issues including a delay in the construction of the transmission line (TL) and access roads (40 km access road) from Durmkibas of Nawalparasi East to Bhakunde of Palpa via the Sardi plant site. During the interaction, the visiting team assured project officials that relevant government agencies would speed up the process of resolving outstanding issues at the earliest.
Similarly, the team visited the proposed Shaktikhor Industrial Park with an onsite visit to the project area. After the observation of the proposed industrial park, the team also participated in an interaction hosted by Chitwan Association of Industries (CIA) in Bharatpur.
The secretary of the MOICS, Mr. Ghimire, assured that the government would extend necessary support to materialize the vision of the project which holds strategic importance to the economic transformation of the local area. OIBN CEO Mr. Bhatta highlighted IBN’s role in facilitating and implementing large scale development projects. The meeting concluded with remarks from concerned stakeholders and locals related to resolving the EIA and speeding up the construction process of the project. IDML Chair Mr. Basnet briefed the team about the progress in the process of developing the industrial park and assured that the discrepancy in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be resolved promptly through discussions among concerned stakeholders. Local stakeholders asked the visiting senior government officials to accelerate and resolve outstanding issues regarding the industrial park.
Similarly, the team held a meeting with local stakeholders of Mayurdhap Industrial Park in Makawanpur on December 3. Speaking on the occasion, Constituent Assembly member Mr. Ananta Poudel stated that Mayurdhap urged the government to create an environment for the timely completion of the industrial infrastructure to promote industries that can support economic development and employment generation. MOICS’s secretary Mr. Ghimire also said Mayurdhap area was the most suitable spot to establish industries and expressed his commitment to resolve existing legal and technical issues for seamless implementation of the industrial park.
OIBN CEO Mr. Bhatta stressed the need to simplify industrial policies to create an environment for establishing industrial districts in the country. On the occasion, local stakeholders assured their sincere support for the successful implementation of the park. In the meeting, IDML Chair Mr. Basnet shared issues that have been disrupting the smooth implementation of the park.
On December 4, the team interacted with local stakeholders at Simara Special Economic Zone (SEZ). On the occasion, Joint Secretary of MOICS Mr. Rijyal stated that MOICS was keen to work in partnership with IBN to develop the project under a public private partnership (PPP) modality. He also said that the possibility of developing the project under the transaction advisory modality with support from the IFC with the consent of the Ministry of Finance is also being explored. The cost of Simara SEZ which stretches across 165 bigahas, is estimated to be NPR 1.18 billion. ♦