CPN-Maoist calls for review of all hydropower schemes

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    Says all projects are not in favour of Nepalis

    CPN-MaoistKATHMANDU: Mohan Baidhya-led CPN-Maoist today expressed serious reservations over the six major political parties’ pledge to support the ongoing hydropower projects in the country. The reaction comes 10 days after the parties made a commitment to develop hydropower.

    Issuing a press release, CPN-Maoist’s department of water resources and energy indirectly expressed differing views in ‘not to obstruct any hydro projects construction’ saying that all projects are not equal, against the nation and welfare of the people. While taking a backseat, the party said it is not that they do not support the hydro project development as other six parties did, rather they are choosy in supporting hydro projects as all projects are not in favour of Nepalis.

    Leaders of six major political parties — the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Janashakti Party and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic — and the Chairman of the interim ele-ction government Khil Raj Regmi signed a commitment paper, pledging not to disturb hydropower developm-ent in country on April 11.

    Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) had sought all parties’ commitment to help build the ailing hydro sector as the developers are wary of frequent obstruction in the project. “The FNCCI has been lobbying for a common minimum economic agenda, including hydropower, for the development of the country,” said FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya, during the inaugural session, adding, “It is high time all political parties came to a certain understanding on ways to end the everlasting transition and steer the nation towards the path of accelerated growth.”

    Except the CPN-Maoist party, all four major and some fringe parties had expressed their solidarity not to create hurdle in the hydro sector during the 47th annual General Meeting of FNCCI.

    The party has reiterated its resistance on various projects underway saying that they were on unequal agreements, treaties with the foreigners saying that they should be scrapped or reviewed.

    Source : The Himalayan Times

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    CPN-M slams parties’ hydropower pledge

    • FNCCI says such a stand will ruin investment climate

    The CPN-Maoist , which has been opposing Indian investment in the hydro power sector in Nepal, has termed the recent political solidarity for hydropower development a cheap publicity.

    In a press statement, the Department of Water Resources and Energy of the party said the move was meant to hide all existing anomalies, financial irregularities, treaties signed against the country’s interests and foreigners’ intervention in the country.

    In the 47th annual general meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on April 10, top leaders of seven political parties along with Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi had signed a commitment paper, jointly vowing not to hinder the development of any hydro power project. Among the parties that committed not to obstruct the power projects were UCPN (Maoist), CPN-UML, Nepali Congress, Rastriya Janashakti Party Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktrantrik, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Nepal and Tarai Madhes Loktantik. However, despite several attempts from the private sector, the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist refused to sign the paper.

    CPN-Maoist leader Dharmendra Bastola said his party has reservations over the commitment paper. He also charged the signatories and the parties they represented of being involved in taking bribes and commissions from hydropower developers in the country. “We were surprised by the commitment of the parties that had so far been selling Nepal’s water resources to monopolists and capitalists,” said the press release.

    The press release signed by Lok Bahadur Raut, the secretary of the party department, further states that the Koshi, Gandak and Mahakali-Pancheswor Treaty, along with the handing over of projects like Upper Karnali, Upper Marysandi, Arun-III and Saptakoshi Hydropower Projects, were against the interests of the country and “unequal” to the country in terms of possession and profits. “Our party is of the opinion that until such unequal agreements, treaties and contracts are corrected, the projects should not be constructed,” the release said. It added that the party had been playing a creative role in the management and operation of any of the projects that are constructed by putting the national interests on top.

    Bastola said his party will not oppose foreign investment in Nepal’s hydropower projects, but will struggle against ‘Indian monopoly’ in hydro power.

    Reacting to the statement, FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya said such ‘whimsical’ statement from one of the major parties of the country would ruin the entire investment climate of Nepal. “It is really unfortunate that the CPN-Maoist is obstructing foreign investment in hydropower by targeting the investment of acertain country,” he said, adding that such ‘blame game’ will never promote the country’s hydropower sector. “If the CPN-Maoist is unhappy with the private sector’s attempts to ensure commitment from the political parties, I request this party to come up with its roadmap on the development of hydropower,” said Vaidya.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post