Billions can be invested by public on hydropower

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    ” Banks, financial institutions also have adequate resources “

    KATHMANDU, June 19

    hydro_artWhen Mega Bank issued primary shares worth Rs 699 million recently, it received applications for over 20 times more at Rs 14.20 billion. Applications of Rs 6.60 billion were received earlier when Commerce and Trust Bank offered shares worth Rs 600 million. Similarly, Civil Bank had received applications of Rs 4 billion for Rs 800 million of shares and Janta Bank Rs 1.80 billion for Rs 600 million.

    If the general public were to show the same enthusiasm that they showed when four commercial banks issued shares in the current fiscal year to invest in hydropower sector, the country will produce enough electricity at least to meet domestic demands. “Adequate investment can be attracted toward hydropower sector if the general public were convinced that the sector is also attractive for investment like the banks and financial institutions are,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hydroelectricity Investment and Development Company Limited (HIDCL) Dipak Rauniyar states. “Upper Tamakoshi (456 MW) and the four projects worth 270 MW being developed by Chilime Hydropower Company Limited are the examples,” he adds.

    The Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the Citizen Investment Trust (CIT), the Rastriya Beema Sansthan (RBS), the Nepal Telecom (NT) and the government has collectively invested Rs 35 billion in Upper Tamakoshi. Similarly, Rasuwagadi (111 MW), Mid Bhotekoshi (102 MW), Upper Sanjen (14 MW) and Sanjen (42 MW) are also being built with domestic investment. EPF has invested Rs 16 billion in these four projects while the rest is expected to be raised from the affected locals and the general public. Rauniyar argues that investment of the general public could not be attracted toward hydropower sector as good projects are not selected and the people are not aware about the profitability of investment in the sector. “There are grounds to believe that enough capital can be generated from the general public, banks and financial institutions and institutional investors for big projects,” he claims.

    The fact that so many people apply to invest in banks and financial institutions show their eagerness to invest. Experts believe that it is possible to attract investment toward hydropower sector if it were regulated like the banks and financial institutions, and the hydropower companies were also transparent. Rauniyar, reminding that Chilime, Butwal Power and Arun Valley Hydropwoer Company Limited provided good returns to the investors, opines that the projects that can give returns have to be selected. “Why should good hydropower projects not attract applications when over 20 times of applications are received for shares of a commercial bank?” he asks.

    He claims that enough capital can be generated through the banks and financial institutions, insurance companies, EPF, CIT, RBS, NT and the general public. The welfare funds of the Nepal Army, the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force (APF), Social security Fund, HIDCL and non-resident Nepalis can also invest billions of rupees, he feels. He says the banks and financial institutions can invest Rs 50 billion in the present situation. But they have invested just Rs 17 billion, according to NRB.

    Share analyst Rabindra Bhattarai also feels that there is sufficient capital in the country to build hydropower projects. “It is not that foreign capital is not needed but domestic investment can help attract more foreign investment,” he states. “The general public should also be attracted to the hydropower sector, and not just the banks and a handful of investors, and made richer,” he adds. Referring to the policy of providing 10 percent shares to the locals adopted by Upper Tamakoshi, he says the provision should be made mandatory for all projects. He states that the sector has not received investment from the general public as they have not been explained that the sector can also provide adequate returns. “The returns of investors in banks are less as the banks have to pay 30 percent tax on their income. Hydropower is the only sector where the government has announced tax exemption for 15 years and it can, therefore, provide more returns,” he explains.

    He insists that billions of rupees can be raised to construct big projects through banks, promoters and the general public. He argues that transactions amount can be increased and investment also diversified if the share of productive sector is increased in the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) that is dominated by the banks and financial institutions. Stating that there is provision of generating capital from the general public one year after the construction of project starts, he informed that Sanimamai Hydropower is collecting capital using the provision. Hydropower entrepreneur Guru Prasad Neupane said that many projects are not financially viable in lack of physical infrastructures like transmission line. “The current problem is not investment but that of transmission line. Enough investment can be attracted to the hydropower sector if the problem is addressed,” he stated.

    But there has been lack of trust among the general public as a few hydropower companies have not provided good returns to the general public despite issuing shares to the public. The stakeholders feel that proper monitoring is required to address the issue. Economist Keshav Acharya believes that productive sector like hydropower has not been able to attract investment from the general public as the banks and financial institutions have, due to lack of transparency. “A regulatory authority is necessary to make the hydropower sector transparent. The general public has come forward with trust to invest in shares of the banks and financial institutions as they are more transparent,” he opines. Stating that there is no problem of capital in the country he stressed that the trust of the general public has to be won first. “Investment will pour in after that.”

    Source : Karobar

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    ” बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थासँग पनि पर्याप्त स्रोत “

    बाबुराम खड्का
    काठमाडौं, ५ असार- मेगा बैंकले हालै ६९ करोड ९० लाख रुपैयाँबराबरको साधारण सेयर निष्कासन गर्दा सर्वसाधारणबाट २२ गुणा बढी १४ अर्ब २० करोडको आवेदन प¥यो । त्यसअघि कर्मज एन्ड ट्रस्ट बैंकको ६० करोड रुपैयाँको सेयरका लागि ६ अर्ब ६० करोडको आवेदन परेको थियो । त्यस्तै, सिभिल बैंकले ८० करोडको साधारण सेयर निष्कासन गर्दा ४ अर्ब र जनता बैंकको ६० करोड रुपैयाँको सेयरका लागि १ अर्ब ८० करोड रुपैयाँका निवेदन परे ।
    चालू आवमा चारवटा वाणिज्य बैंकले सेयर निष्कासन गर्दा सर्वसाधारणले देखाएको उत्साहलाई जलविद्युत्को क्षेत्रमा पनि कायम गर्नसके कम्तीमा स्वदेशी माग आपूर्ति गर्ने गरी बिजुली उत्पादन गर्न सकिने देखिन्छ । “सर्वसाधारणलाई बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थामात्र हैन, अब जलविद्युत् पनि आकर्षक लगानीको क्षेत्र हो भन्ने चेतना जगाए यसमा पर्याप्त लगानी आउनसक्छ,” जलविद्युत् लगानी तथा विकास कम्पनी लिमिटेडका प्रमुख कार्यकारी अधिकृत (सीईओ) दीपक रौनियार भन्छन्, “माथिल्लो तामाकोसी (४५६ मेगावाट) र चिलिमे जलविद्युत् कम्पनी लिमिटेडले निर्माण गर्न लागेको २ सय ७० मेगावाट क्षमताका चार आयोजना यसका उदाहरण हुन् ।”
    तामाकोसीमा कर्मचारी सञ्चयकोष, नागरिक लगानी कोष, राष्ट्रिय बिमा संस्थान, नेपाल टेलिकम र सरकारले ३५ अर्ब रुपैयाँ सामूहिक लगानी गरेका छन् । त्यस्तै, चिलिमेले निर्माण गर्न लागेको रसुवागढी (१११ मेगावाट), मध्य भोटेकोसी (१०२ मेगावाट), माथिल्लो सान्जेन (१४ मेगावाट) र सान्जेन (४२ मेगावाट) आयोजना पनि स्वदेशी लगानीबाट बन्दैछन् । यी आयोजनामा कर्मचारी सञ्चयकोषले १६ अर्ब लगानी गरेको छ भने बाँकी १६ अर्ब प्रभावित स्थानीय र सर्वसाधारणबाट जुटाउने तयारी छ ।
    राम्रो आयोजना छनोट नगर्नु र यसबारे जानकारी गराउन नसक्दा नै सर्वसाधारणको लगानी यसतर्फ आउन नसकेको तर्क रौनियारको छ । “ठूला आयोजनामा सर्वसाधारण, बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्था र संस्थागत लगानीकर्ताबाट पर्याप्त पुँजी उठाउन सकिने अवस्था भने देखिएको छ,” उनले भने ।
    बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थामा लगानी गर्न आवेदन दिनेहरू उही व्यक्ति भए पनि त्यसले लगानीप्रतिको चासो देखाउँछ । तर, बैंकिङ संस्थाजस्तै नियमन हुने र जलविद्युत् कम्पनी पनि परदर्शी हुने हो भने यो असम्भव नरहेको विज्ञहरू बताउँछन् ।
    चिलिमे, बुटवल पावर र अरुणभ्याली हाइड्रोपावर कम्पनी लिमिटेडले लगानीकर्तालाई राम्रो प्रतिफल दिएको बताउँदै रौनियारले प्रतिफल दिने आयोजना छनोट गर्नुपर्ने सुझाए । “बैंकको साधारण सेयर निष्कासन गर्दा २२ गुणासम्म आवेदन पर्छ भने राम्रो जलविद्युत् आयोजनामा किन नपर्ने ?” उनको प्रश्न छ ।
    उनले नेपालमा बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्था, बिमा कम्पनी, सञ्चयकोष, नागरिक लगानी कोष, राष्ट्रिय बिमा संस्थान र नेपाल टेलिकमका साथै सर्वसाधारणबाट पर्याप्त लगानी जुटाउन सकिने बताए । नेपाली सेना, नेपाल प्रहरी र सशस्त्र प्रहरीका कल्याणकारी कोष, सामाजिक सुरक्षा कोष, जलविद्युत् लगानी तथा विकास कम्पनीका साथै गैरआवासीय नेपालीबाट ठूला आयोजनामा अर्बौं रुपैयाँ लगानी हुनसक्ने उनी देख्छन् ।
    त्यसबाहेक मुलुकका बैंक र वित्तीय संस्थाबाट अहिलेकै अवस्थामा ५० अर्ब रुपैयाँ लगानी हुनसक्ने देखिन्छ । हालसम्म बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाले जलविद्युत्मा १७ अर्ब रुपैयाँ लगानी गरेको राष्ट्र बैंकको तथ्यांक छ ।
    विद्युत् आयोजना बनाउन स्वदेशमा पर्याप्त पुँजी रहेको सेयर विश्लेषक रवीन्द्र भट्टराई पनि बताउँछन् । “विदेशी पुँजी नचाहिने भन्ने होइन तर स्वदेशभित्रैबाट हुने लगानीले विदेशी लगानी आकर्षित गर्न सहयोग पुग्छ,” उनी भन्छन्, “अब जलविद्युत्मा बैंक र केही लगानीकर्तामात्र होइन, सर्वसाधारणलाई पनि अनिवार्य सहभागी गराएर उनीहरूलाई पनि धनी बनाउनुपर्छ ।”
    माथिल्लो तामाकोसी आयोजनाले स्थानीयलाई १० प्रतिशत सेयर दिनुपर्ने नीति कार्यान्वयन गरेको भन्दै उनले सबै आयोजनामा यो व्यवस्था अनिवार्य गराउनुपर्ने बताए । सर्वसाधारणलाई जलविद्युत्बाट पर्याप्त प्रतिफल आउन सक्छ भन्ने कुरा बुझाउन नसक्दा यो क्षेत्रमा उनीहरूको लगानी आउन नसकेको भट्टराईको भनाइ छ ।
    “बैंकले १ अर्ब रुपैयाँ कमायो भने उसले ३० प्रतिशत अर्थात् ३० करोड रुपैयाँ कर तिर्नुपर्छ, जसले गर्दा लगानीकर्ताको प्रतिफल घट्छ,” भट्टराईले भने, “जलविद्युत् एकमात्र यस्तो क्षेत्र हो, जसलाई सरकारले  १५ वर्षसम्म कर छुट दिएको छ, कम्पनीले १ अर्ब आम्दानी गरे त्यो पूरै लगानीकर्तालाई बाँड्न सकिन्छ, त्यसैले बैंकभन्दा जलविद्युत् कम्पनीले बढी प्रतिफल दिन्छन् ।”
    बैंक, प्रवद्र्धक र सर्वसाधारणको त्रिकोणात्मक लगानीबाट ठूला आयोजना बनाउन अर्बौं रुपैयाँ लगानी जुट्नसक्ने भट्टराईको तर्क छ । नेपाल स्टक एक्सचेन्ज (नेप्से)मा बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाको मात्र वर्चस्व रहेको अवस्थामा उत्पादनमूलक कम्पनीका क्षेत्र बढाए कारोबार पनि बढ्ने र लगानी विविधीकरण पनि हुने उनको तर्क छ । जलविद्युत् आयोजना निर्माण सुरु भएको एक वर्षपछि सार्वसाधारणबाट लगानी उठाउन पाइने प्रावधान रहेको भन्दै उनले सानिमामाई हाइड्रोपावरले त्यही प्रावधानअनुसार सर्वसाधारणबाट लगानी जुटाइरहेको जानकारी दिए ।
    जलविद्युत् उद्यमी गुरुप्रसाद न्यौपाने भने प्रसारणलाइनजस्ता आधारभूत पूर्वाधार विकास नभएकाले धेरै आयोजना आर्थिक रूपमा सम्भाव्य नभएको बताउँछन् । “अहिलेको समस्या लगानीको भन्दा पनि प्रसारणलाइनको छ,” उनी भन्छन्, “यो समस्या सम्बोधन गर्न सके जलविद्युत्मा पर्याप्त लगानी आउने अवस्था छ ।”
    तर, केही जलविद्युत् कम्पनीले सर्वसाधारणका लागि सेयर जारी गरे पनि प्रतिफल राम्रो नदिँदा विश्वास आर्जनमा समस्या नभएको भने होइन । यसका लागि उचित अनुमगन आवश्यक पर्ने सुझाव सरोकारवालाको छ ।
    बैंक तथा वित्तीय संस्थाजस्तै जलविद्युत्लगायत अन्य उत्पादनमूलक क्षेत्र पारदर्शी नभएका कारण सार्वसाधारणको लगानी आउन नसकेको अर्थशास्त्री केशव आचार्य बताउँछन् । “जलविद्युत् क्षेत्रलाई बढी पारदर्शी बनाउन नियामक निकाय आवश्यक छ,” उनी भन्छन्, “बैंक तथा वित्तीय क्षेत्र बढी पारदर्शी भएका कारण विश्वास बढेर सर्वसाधारण सेयरमा लगानी गर्न अगाडि आएका हुन् ।”
    नेपालमा पुँजीको समस्या नभएको बताउँदै आचार्यले पहिले सर्वसाधारणको विश्वास जित्नु सक्नुपर्ने बताए । “अनि त्यसपछि यो क्षेत्रमा लगानी ओइरिन्छ,” उनले भने ।