KATHMANDU, April 26 :
The Investment Board Nepal (IBN) on Saturday decided to form a joint study panel to make recommendations on pending issues of grants, tax concession on import of construction materials and income tax waiver for a certain time to projects of above 500 MW capacity.
The panel comprising officials of IBN, Ministry of Finance (MoF) and Ministry of Energy (MoE) will study the demands of mega-projects during the negotiations for the Project Development Agreement and make the recommendations to IBN.
According to the press statement issued by IBN on Saturday, recommendation will be passed to MoF for necessary amendments in related laws to provide incentives to project developers. The IBN board meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Saturday.
Talking to Republica, CEO of IBN Radhes Panta said the panel will soon make recommendations to the board on these issues. However, they are yet to pick other officials for the panel.
“We are close to consensus on these issues,” claimed Panta, adding that the such mega projects will get income tax holiday for the first 10 years and 50 percent tax waiver for another five years.
In a twitter message, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat has claimed that the Saturday´s meeting has paved the way for signing of PDA with four big hydropower projects.
However, MoE officials say they are uncertain until the amendment to laws related to PDA is endorsed in parliament.
Negotiations for signing PDA with Upper Karnali (900 MW) with GMR Energy Limited and Aurn III (900 MW) with Sutlej Jalbidhyut Nigam is underway. However the IBN is yet to start negotiations with the promoters of Tamakoshi III and Upper Marshyangdi II.
Likewise, the Board meeting has also decided to hold negotiations for construction of transmission lines for projects above 500 MW.
The board meeting also directed IBN and concerned ministries to hold discussions and settle the row over jurisdiction within two weeks.
Source : Republica