Parliamentary Committee Deliberates with Energy Minister Basnet on Nepal-India Power Trade Agreement

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The Infrastructure Development Committee under the House of Representatives (HoR) has decided to take updates about Nepal-India Power Trade Agreement (PTA) and other relevant matters from the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation.

In a meeting of the Committee today, its members were of the view of inviting the Minister to the next meeting and take information on the matters, citing that the Committee previous efforts to receive information in writing went in vain.

The members stressed the need of concluding a bill relating to the power development considered important in terms of trade and international relations soon.

Being based on the meeting feedback, the parliamentary committee has also planned to consult with the minister regarding the questions on electricity dedicated and trunk lines.

Besides, the Committee has prepared for sitting with ministry officials for talks regarding issues in the implementation of electricity projects of national pride, aiming to find probable solutions to them in facilitation of the Committee.

The meeting also discussed about the Power Trade Bill, 2080 BS that it received on October 13 along with the suggestions. The meeting explored ways to further enrich the document, agreeing on taking feedback from stakeholders concerned and experts. Ninety-six lawmakers have sought amendments on the Bill.

The Committee has decided to form a 10-member taskforce to collect suggestions for creating environment conducive for construction of projects, including infrastructure projects, stalled for years, and for taking concrete steps, in addition to the bill.

Chairman of the parlaimentary committee Deepak Bahadur Singh said the taskforce will be comprised of two members each from the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML and one member each from the rest of the parties representing in the Committee.

Some of the committee members speaking in the meeting held the contractors more responsible for the construction of physical infrastructure projects, including roads, missing the deadline while in some cases the problem was the government failing to release the budget in time.

The meeting directed the Committee secretariat to prepare a roster of experts to be called to the committee’s meeting in connection to making the Power Trade Bill richer and to formulate a an annual plan of action related to their area of work with the ownership of all in their performance.

They stressed that the committee should be active in making laws aimed at timely addressing the problems faced by the people and rendering its activities effective.

The committee members pointed out the need for putting to an end one and for all the trend of extending the deadline of several problematic projects even if there is no progress in their construction, pushing up the overall cost.

Source: Republica