FinMin proposes regional power transmission lines



    Saarc Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has proposed constructing regional electricity transmission lines to the finance ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc).

    Mahat stressed on the need for increased expansion of transmission lines in the region during an informal meeting with the Saarc ministers on the sidelines of the 47th annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held in Astana, Kazakhstan. Saarc finance ministers have been getting together on the sidelines of the ADB annual meeting since 2006. Nepal, with its large hydropower potential, expects to export power to other South Asian countries, particularly India, in the future.

    The Finance Ministry said in a press release that Mahat said that efforts should be made to increase investment in infrastructure as the entire region faces an infrastructure deficit. He added that investments in infrastructure should be made through the Saarc Development Fund in addition to social sector development.

    Highlighting the achievements in the peace process which has largely concluded, Mahat said that Nepal was now focusing on boosting domestic and foreign investment. “Economic reform measures have also been initiated,” he said.

    Meanwhile, addressing the annual meeting of the ADB, Mahat appealed for big scale investment from the ADB in areas of infrastructure such as energy, irrigation and roads. Considering the energy crisis plaguing Nepal, he also urged the ADB to help the country in this sector in a big way.

    Mahat said that the government would sign power development agreements with hydropower projects being funded by foreign investors. He promised that Nepal would be an attractive destination for foreign investors and donors after a year when the constitution making process will be completed.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post