Eight candidates have submitted applications for the position of CEO of Investment Board Nepal (IBN) to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

    The hopefuls include the current CEO Radhes Pant, former deputy governor of Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Maha Prasad Adhikari and president of the Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal (Ippan) Khadga Bahadur Bishta.

    Similarly, the other applicants are Prakash Awasthi, Surendra Kumar Poudel, Ramesh Nath Bastola, Saroj Koirala and Bisho Lal Shrestha.

    Two weeks ago, the PMO had published a notice calling for applications after the Cabinet formed a three-member panel under the leadership of Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel to recommend a new CEO. The other members of the panel are National Planning Commission Vice-Chairman Yubaraj Khatiwada and former secretary Keshav Bhattarai.

    According to PMO Secretary Kedar Bahadur Adhikari, the committee will evaluate the credentials of the aspirants itself or appoint a specialist to do so. “We will consult the finance minister and then decide what to do,” said Adhikari.

    As per IBN regulations, candidates are graded according to four criteria, which are qualification and experience, proposed business programme, plan and work plan, strategic discussion or interview or both and their moral values, social standing and personality.
    Three candidates will be shortlisted, and the Cabinet will name one from among them as the new CEO.

    IBN was set up by the Baburam Bhattarai administration as a one-stop service centre for foreign and local investors wishing to launch projects with a capital of Rs10 billion or more. Pant, a banker by profession, was appointed as its first CEO in August 2011.

    The Sushil Koirala-led government extended Pant’s term for another four years, but the decision was cancelled by the KP Oli-led government. Four months ago, the new administration decided to let Pant continue in the post until further arrangement. Pant, who gave up his job as the CEO of Kumari Bank to join IBN, has been credited with setting up its institutional framework and concluding two key power development agreements (PDAs) with Indian companies GMR and SJVN to build the Upper Karnali and Arun III hydropower projects respectively. As per the Investment Board Act, fast-track roads, railways, international and regional airports, fertiliser factories and petroleum refineries come under IBN’s purview.

    The board also oversees foreign investments in major projects and banks and financial institutions, medical colleges and hospitals with a capacity of more than 300 beds, hydropower projects of more than 500 MW capacity and special economic zones.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post