CIAA criticized for instructing to scrap Kabeli-A license

Kabeli-A-ProjectKATHMANDU, Nov 2: Former Finance Minister Surendra Pandey has accused the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) of overstepping its jurisdiction by instructing the government to scrap the license of Kabeli-A Hydropower Project.

Pandey made such accusation against the anti-graft body during a meeting of Finance Committee under the parliament on Sunday.

“The CIAA should look after corruption, not direct the executive body,” Pandey told the meeting, “It’s against globally-accepted principles.”

Accusing that the decision was intended to discourage foreign investment; most of the lawmakers criticized the CIAA for directing the government for annulling license.

The CIAA on Wednesday had ordered the government to scrap survey licenses of four hydropower project including the 37.6 MW Kabeli-A for failing to sign power purchase agreement and attaining financial closure within the set deadline.

During the meeting Minister for Finance Ram Sharan Mahat threw his weight behind the project saying that World Bank invested in hydropower sector after 20-22 years.

The committee, in the meeting, held discussions with energy secretary and representatives from Energy Ministry and Department of Electricity Development (DoED). The meet also decided to summon reprehensive from the CIAA in the next sitting.

The Butwal Power Company is constructing the project with USD 40 million concessional loan from World Bank and USD 38 million loan from International Finance Corporation (IFC). Government holds 13 percent share in Buwtal Power Company.

Source : Republica