Investors commit Rs. 2,500 billion for 31 projects

By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, Apr. 22: The government has received 48 applications for 31 different projects having an estimated cost of Rs. 2,500 billion.

Until April 20, 2019, a total of 43 applications were received for 26 projects, which were showcased in the Nepal Investment Summit, said Chief Executive Office of the Investment Board Nepal Maha Prasad Adhikari.
Five applications from prospective investors were received for five new projects, which were not presented at the Summit. A total of 77 projects, including 27 projects from the private sector, were showcased in the Summit. The Nepal Investment Summit was held on March 29-30 in Kathmandu.
During the Summit, 16 Memorandum of Understanding were signed on the showcased projects whereas applications were received for 17 projects. 
The government and the private sector showcased projects of seven sectors related to agriculture infrastructure, health and education infrastructure, energy infrastructure, industry infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, transport infrastructure and urban infrastructure. Till the date, seven applications for five projects on the agriculture infrastructure, two applications for two projects on health and education infrastructure and eight applications for seven projects on energy infrastructure have been received.
Likewise, one application for a project of industry infrastructure, three applications for three projects of tourism infrastructure, 22 applications for nine projects of transport infrastructure and five applications for four projects of urban infrastructure have been received by April 20, 2019.
Under the agriculture infrastructure project, applications for integrated agriculture projects in Urlabari, Hemja, Banepa and Chitwan, Birendranagar and Tilottama, were received. 
Proposals for Dhulikhel Medicity and Gandaki Technical University under the health and education infrastructure projects showcased in the Summit were also received.
Similarly, investors also expressed interests for the energy infrastructure projects that included Tamor Hydropower (762 MW), West Seti (750 MW), SR6 Hydropower (652 MW), Sunkoshi-II Hydropower (1,110 MW), Sunkoshi-III (536 MW), Lower Arun Hydropower (1300 MW) and Nepal Solar (550 MW).
Applications to develop Logistics Park-Bulk Terminal under the industry infrastructure and Janaki Heritage Hotel, Tal Talaiya Theme Park and Dreamland Dhulikhel under the tourism infrastructure projects were received.
Investors have applied for developing transport infrastructure projects such as BRT on Ring Road of Kathmandu, Outer Ring Road of Kathmandu, Nijgadh International Airport, Kathmandu Valley Metro Rail, East-West Electrified Railways, Kathmandu-Pokhara- Lumbini Railways, Kathmandu Sky Train, Samakhusi-Tokha-Chhahare Road and Dhangadhi Regional International Airport.
Proposals on International Convention Centre, Solid Waste Management, Municipal Waste Incineration Power Generation, Biratnagar and Waste Water Treatment (Melamchi, Khokana, Bharatpur) under the Urban infrastructure project have also been received.
“The response from the foreign investors is good. The positive response received from the external sector is encouraging for us. So, we have to translate investors’ commitment in reality that would support for making the country prosperous,” Adhikari said at a press conference Sunday. The proposals have been registered as Expression of Interest (EoI) in the national pride projects which are essential for the country’s development, but we have not forwarded them ahead, he said.
“We have to take forward those projects with effective managerial skills and in a competitive and transparent manner. So, we need to make a working plan to forward the project effectively,” he said. 
Stating that the Investment Summit and showcased projects were the starting point to attract foreign investors, Adhikari said, adding that giving continuity the facilities and services provided to the investors from the government side was a must to make the outcome of the Summit highly fruitful.
He said that the government would be flexible to provide services to the investors under fast track and reform policies and acts in time to improve investment climate.
Balaram Rijyal, spokesman at IBN, said that IBN in the first phase has planned to select developers for 27 projects within three months (August 2019). 
Similarly, the IBN has been preparing to choose developers for 17 projects within nine months (by February 2020) in the second phase, and six projects within 14 months (by 20 August 2020) in the third phase.
Earlier, the government had formed a five-member high level monitoring committee to monitor the implementation of the investment proposals received for the projects showcased in the Summit.
CEO Adhikari said that the IBN has extended the deadline by a month to May 20 for receiving applications after taking into consideration the request of the investors and applicants.
“We extended deadline because of the requests from the investors and not because of less number of applications that we received. The few projects would take more time for feasibility study and surveys,” he said.