KATHMANDU, May 30:
Though the energy sector is prioritized by the government in the annual budget every year, the private sector continues to face problems in implementing projects.
With the government preparing to bring the budget for the fiscal year 2070/71, the private sector has urged the government to address the problems to help the projects gain momentum.
The private sector has said that the government should address the problems concerning land acquisition, clearance from the forest and environment ministries and local obstructions so that the objectives set by the budget may be attained.
The government had allocated Rs 30 billion, including Rs 4 billion for the alternative energy sector, in the previous budget but expenditure remains dismal due to several reasons, including lack of coordination between government agencies.
Talking to Republica, Khadga Bahadur Bisht, president of the Independent Power Producers´ Association Nepal (IPPAN), said that they want the new budget to address problems of land acquisition and clearance from the ministries to expedite construction of hydropower projects. IPPAN has forwarded 11-point demand to Gyawali.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) has set a budget ceiling of Rs 26.84 billion for the NEA and Rs 3.84 billion for the energy ministry.
The private sector has also demanded increase in VAT concession from Rs 1 million to Rs 10 million per MW for hydropower projects.
Likewise, the private sector has also demanded that the issue of signing power trade agreement with India be including in the upcoming budget.
It has also said that the government should equally prioritize transmission line projects, including the 300km Bardaghat- Gorakhpur cross border transmission line.
Though the government had allocated Rs 13 billion for transmission line projects in the previous fiscal year, mostly through grants from donors, the projects could not take off due to lack of enough resources for preparatory works.
Deputy Spokesperson for energy ministry Sanjeeb Baral said that the government would also allocate funds for transmission line projects in the upcoming budget.
Major demands of IPPAN
• VAT concession of Rs 10 million per MW
• Loans at lower interest rates
• Increased power purchase rate
• Power Trade Agreement (PTA) with India
Source : Republica