KATHMANDU: Office of the Investment Board Nepal (OIBN) held a series of interactions with key stakeholder agencies to draft the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Investment Regulations. The regulations document was drafted after interactions with development partners, relevant government agencies in the capital, the private sector, experts and provincial governments.
Interaction with development partners
On July 8, 2019, OIBN organized an interaction with development partners to get feedback on the draft of the Public Private Partnership and Investment, Regulation 2019. During the interaction, representatives of development partners expressed hope that the new regulation would be instrumental in promoting foreign investment in Nepal. They also put forth suggestions on the effective implementation of the One Stop Service (OSS) for investors; and stressed the importance of inter-agency coordination and the role of IBN in the federal system for the implementation of various projects. The following representatives attended the interaction session: Mr. Anjan Pandey (Asian Development Bank), Ms. Claudia Hiepe, (German Embassy), Mr. Ayush Siddhi (German Internation Cooperation Agency - GIZ), Mr. Sharad B. Karmacharya (Norwegian Embassy), Mr. Markus Kirkerud (Norwegian Embassy), Mr. Sabin Raj Shrestha (World Bank), Mr. Mim Hamal (European Union), Mr. Rahish Shrestha (Japanese Embassy), Mr. Sakiko Kurosaka (Japanese Embassy), Ms. Cynthia Rowe (Department for International Development – DFID), Ms. Eleanor Bainbridge (DFID), Mr. David Chalmbers (USAID), Ms. Shankar Khagi (USAID), Ms. Petra Sigrist (Swish Embassy), Mr. Richard Graig (DFID), Mr. Suraj Rana (IMC Worldwide), and Mr. Joel Cutting (IMC World Wide).
Mr. Maha Prasad Adhikari, OIBN CEO, outlined the proposed draft of the regulation which attempts to streamline services for investors and clarifies the bureaucratic process regarding investment. Mr. Adhikari also hailed the continued support from development partners in Nepal’s development efforts for the last several years. Mr. Ghanashyam Ojha, OIBN consultant, delivered a presentation highlighting the key provisions incorporated in the proposed regulation.
Interaction with private sector, government agencies
Similarly, OIBN organized interactions with other stakeholder agencies on the drafting of the Regulation. These interactions helped collect inputs and suggestions from relevant agencies and secure their buy-in for the regulation. During the interactions, key issues on the draft regulation raised by concerned agencies were noted. Relevant regulations are vital for effectively implementing the provisions stipulated in the Act. The government recently introduced the Public-Private Partnership and Investment Act with the objective of promoting private investment and providing better investor services.
OIBN organized a workshop in Nagarkot on May 18-19 which was attended by OIBN’s CEO and other OIBN officials and stakeholder agencies. Similarly, another meeting was held on May 23-27 between OIBN officials and relevant government agency officials. Such discussions are instrumental in making the proposed regulation compatible with relevant Acts. Similarly, another meetings was organized on May 30 and was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Ministry of Home Affairs; Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers; Ministry of Forest and Environment; Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies; Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation; and Nepal Rashtra Bank (central bank).
OIBN also conducted an interaction with the private sector on June 14. It was attended by representatives from the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), Nepal Chamber of Commerce (NCC), Independent Power Producers Association (IPPAN), and different experts.
Interaction with senior provincial officials
Similarly, OIBN organized an interaction with senior provincial officials on draft of the Regulation on July 26. Secretaries from all seven province governments took part in the half-day interaction program. The participants emphasized on clear roles and responsibilities for provincial governments for developing and implementing large-scale development projects and dealing with FDI. OIBN CEO Mr. Adhikari clarified that the PPP and Investment Regulation is being drafted to develop OIBN into a strong unit for implementing PPP and as a center for excellence in offering advisory services to other government entities. Mr. Adhikari also pledged to extend all possible support to all province governments. “We are open to providing any kind of support necessary to provincial governments regarding identifying, developing and promoting PPP projects,” Mr. Adhikari said.
Mr. Hari Prasad Bashyal, Principal Secretary of Gandaki Province expressed his gratitude for explicitly mentioning the roles of provincial governments in the draft of the PPP and Investment Act 2019. Mr. Bashyal underlined the need for further clarification on the role of the provinces in the proposed regulations to avoid duplication of authorization processes. Mr. Jiwan Prakash Sitaula, Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning (Province 1); Mr. Prem Kumar Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning (Province 2); Mr. Laxmi Gautam, Secretary of Office of Chief Minister and Council of Ministers (Province 3); Mr. Madan Pokharel, Under Secretary of Office of Chief Minister and Council of Ministers (Province 3); and Mr. Manohar Prasad Khanal, Secretary of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Law (Gandaki Province) also offered their comments on the draft regulation. Similarly, Mr. Rajendra Thapa, Secretary of Office of Chief Minister and Council of Ministers (Province 5); Mr. Shanta Bahadur Sunar, Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning (Karnali Province); and Mr. Kishor Kumar Chaudhary, Secretary of Office of Chief Minister and Council of Ministers (Sudoor Paschim Province) also put forth their views on the draft. OIBN Consultant Mr. Ghanashyam Ojha delivered a presentation on the highlights of the draft. Upon completion of consultations with key stakeholder agencies, the draft regulation will be registered with the cabinet via the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers for approval. ♦