IBN authorised to hold talks with investors

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    KATHMANDU, APR 27 –

    Nepal Investment BoardInvestment Board of Nepal (IBN) has been authorised to hold negotiation with investors for the development of transmission lines for hydropower projects above 500MW capacity.

    An IBN board meeting on Saturday took a decision to this effect considering the fact that hydropower projects like Upper Karnali have to construct transmission lines on their own, but IBN had been mandated to negotiate only for electricity generation.

    As IBN is currently holding negotiations with three foreign developers for Power Development Agreement (PDA), it had sought the board’s nod to include the issue of transmission line in PDA negotiations. “Our request was to make both generation and transmission line construction one project,” said IBN CEO Radesh Pant.

    The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, has also agreed in principle to offer tax exemptions to hydropower projects that start electricity generation within 2018.

    Industry Secretary Krishna Gyawali said the meeting agreed to waive 100 percent income tax for 10 years for hydropower projects that start generating electricity within 2018. “Income tax exemption will be 50 percent for the following five years,” he said.

    On income tax exemption and other incentives, the meeting directed the Finance Ministry to form a study committee with representations from Finance and Energy Ministries and IBN, and make amendments to related Acts based on the recommendation of the committee.

    Amid differences between the IBN and line ministries over the ownership of three projects — Kathmandu -Tarai Fast Track, Tribhuwan International Airport upgradation and Second International Airport (SIA) — the meeting directed the Tourism, Physical Infrastructure and Transport Ministries and IBN to hold a meeting within a week and come up with common understanding.

    “The board has sought a proper plan for these projects,” said Gyawali. “The government wants to take ahead both these projects simultaneously.”

    Source : The Kathmandu Post