MMC to explore investments in power and transport sectors


    Nepal and the US government have held talks regarding investment opportunities in energy and transportation sectors in Nepal.

    Regional Deputy Vice-president for Compact Operations of the US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, Fatema Sumar, met government officials and agreed to explore investments in the power and transport sectors, according to a statement issued by the Embassy of USA in Kathmandu today.

    Sumar arrived in Nepal early this week and called on key officials, including Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Finance Minister Bishnu Paudel, and Secretary at the Minsitry of Energy Suman Prasad Sharma.

    “During the coming year, MCC will conduct a comprehensive appraisal of specific project options within the power and transport sectors,” read the statement, adding, “In the power sector, proposed projects focus on improving delivery of electricity by reducing transmission bottlenecks and improving other segments of the power sector value chain.”

    Likewise, in the transport sector, proposed projects focus on a combination of road maintenance, rehabilitation, and critical upgrades, according to the embassy.

    MCC said it would work with the government of Nepal, through the Office of Millennium Challenge Nepal, to determine which sectors and projects to ultimately pursue based on the outcome of MCC’s feasibility studies and appraisal.

    Nepal was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors as eligible for a compact in December 2014. MCC is an innovative and independent US foreign aid agency that is helping to lead the fight against poverty through economic growth.

    The embassy said the size of MCC’s compact with Nepal has not been finalised and would be determined by the projects that meet MCC’s investment criteria and availability of funds.

    Speaking about MCC’s commitment to working with the Government of Nepal to create an environment for the proposed investments to succeed, Sumar said, “This is an opportunity that very few countries get and Nepal should be very proud of that.

    This is 100 percent grant assistance. No loans, no lines of credit, no concessional lending. This grant assistance rewards countries that follow principles of good governance, economic freedom and investment in people.”

    Source : The Himalayan Times.