Govt to set up ‘project bank’


    PPP1KATHMANDU, NOV 07 – The government is all set the establish a “project bank”, selecting infrastructure projects that can be developed under the public-private partnership model.

    Although the government has long been planning set up such an institutional mechanism, the efforts so far have been fruitless.

    Tulasi Prasad Sitaula, secretary at the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, said the government plans to select 50 such projects initially, and based on their feasibility, new projects will also be added.

     “We are also going to forge a partnership with the private sector to find out potential projects,” said Sitaula. “We have requested the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) to cooperate on this front.”

    CNI is organising the Nepal Infrastructure Summit – 2014 in Kathmandu on November 11-12. One of the apex bodies of the private sector, it has also planned to set up an infrastructure cell within the CNI to facilitate investment in the sector.

    Earlier, the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) had selected 52 potential projects, but the plan did not make any headway. Sitaula said the selection of the projects would be done in cooperation with both CNI and FNCCI.

    The government has been struggling to attract investment in infrastructure projects due to the lack of the “ready-to-go” projects. The project bank is expected to help identify such projects, in which investment can be made right away.

    Given the existing Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Act has not been much helpful in attracting  investors under the PPP model, the government has also initiated preparations to amend the Act.

    Deloitte India, a consulting firm, which was assigned to prepare the new PPP policy framework and an a draft of the new PPP Act, has submitted the initial drafts to the government. At the roundtable organised by Kantipur Publications on Thursday, convener of CNI’s Industrial Commute Ramesh Gupta said there won’t be other development until infrastructure is developed. “Since there isn’t much political instability now, it’s high time were expedited infrastructure development,” he said.

    Convener of CNI’s Infrastructure Committee Bishnu Agrawal said Nepal is set to host the summit at a crucial time when India has sped-up the infrastructure development.

    “The event will help create awareness,” he said. Given the country investing less than three percent of gross domestic product in infrastructure, the participants of the round table stressed on the need for the investing  at least 10 percent of GDP in infrastructure to help the country graduate to a developing country status from LDC.

    Source : eKantipur