Govt forms panel to find new IBN CEO


    Is in bid to remove Radhes Pant as the head of Investment Board Nepal in volte-face on its four-month-old decision to let him continue in office

    The government has formed a panel to scout for a new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Investment Board Nepal, making a volte-face on its four-month-old decision to let Radhes Pant continue as the IBN head “for the time being”.

    A Cabinet meeting on Tuesday formed a three-member panel headed by Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel to recommend new CEO for the IBN. The other members of the panel are National Planning Commission Vice-chairman Yubaraj Khatiwada and former secretary Keshav Bhattarai.

    Pant, a banker by profession, was appointed the IBN  CEO by then Baburam Bhattarai-led government in August 2011. It was during Bhattarai’s tenure the government had set up the IBN as a one-stop service centre for foreign and local investors willing to bring in investment projects worth more than Rs 10 billion.

    Immediately after the constitution promulgation, the Sushil Koirala-led government had extended Pant’s term by another four years. However, the CPN-UML that was supposed to take the helm of government after the promulgation of the constitution was miffed at the Koirala government’s decision. The KP Sharma Oli-led government, which was formed in October last year, had earlier tried to remove Pant from IBN.

    However, it later decided to let Pant continue in the office until the next arrangement.

    Pant, who left Kumari Bank as the CEO to join the IBN, is credited for setting up institutional framework of the IBN and two important power development agreements (PDAs) with Indian developers GMR and SJVN to develop Upper Karnali and Arun III hydropower projects respectively.

    The IBN is chaired by prime minister.  As per the Investment Board Act, fast-track roads, railways, international and regional airports, fertiliser factories and petroleum refineries come under its purview.
    The board also oversees foreign investments coming in major projects and banks
    and financial institutions, medical colleges and hospitals above 300 beds, hydropower projects with more than 500MW capacity and special economic zones.

    Minister for Information and Communication Technology Sherdhan Rai said that a committee has been formed to recommend names for the CEO of the IBN. “The committee has been asked to suggest names in 15 days since its formation,” said Rai. “The government, will appoint new CEO immediately after the panel recommends the names.”

    Source : The Kathmandu Post