Policies and programs focus on energy

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    KATHMANDU, June 29

    economycrisisThe government has made its policies and programs for the upcoming fiscal year public by keeping development of hydropower sector to address energy crisis at the center. The policies and programs brought by the government formed after the second Constituent Assembly (CA) election is the document of development.

    Construction of infrastructure projects like roads, irrigation projects and airports have also been stressed. The government also has plans to create solid foundation for graduating Nepal into a developing country from the current status of least developed country (LDC) in the next eight years. The government has also stressed on constitution drafting and holding local elections.

    The policies and programs presented by President Dr Ram Baran Yadav on Sunday mention about moving Public Private Partnership (PPP) and participatory system ahead. The government has brought new programs in other economic sectors apart from infrastructure. It has also declared Agriculture Revolution Decade to make Nepal self-reliant on food grains through commercialization of agriculture. It has also stressed on providing seeds and fertilizers to the farmers and mechanization of agriculture. A cabinet meeting held under the chairmanship of acting Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam earlier on the day in Singha Durbar had endorsed the document.

    The Industrial Enterprise Act 1992 will be replaced and new programs will be introduced for promotion of export-oriented industries. The government will also make policy arrangements to bring the sick industries back into operation. It plans to amend the Education Act to make it more standard and useful for livelihood. It has also included important issues like bringing back closed public enterprises (PE) into operation from the next fiscal year and establishing industries that substitute import.

    Likewise, the government has announced to introduce a special program ‘Ujyalo Nepal, Prosperous Nepal’ to resolve the current energy crisis, and stressed on developing reservoir-based hydropower projects and repair and maintain the projects currently in operation. Detailed Project Reports (DPR) of reservoir-based projects like Budi Gandaki, Nalsinghgad, Andhikhola, Uttarganga and Naumure will be prepared keeping the rising electricity demand in mind. It also has an ambitious plan of starting construction of Budi Gandaki from the upcoming fiscal year. It has also mentioned about promotion of alternative sources of energy including solar energy and signing Power Trade Agreement with neighboring country.

    Similarly, it also plans to complete Dhalkebar-Mujaffarpur 400 KV Transmission Line within the upcoming fiscal year, start construction of other two big transmission lines and stress on expansion of domestic transmission lines. New Electricity Act and new Electricity Regulation Commission Act will also be implemented in the next fiscal year. The current Water and Energy Commission will be restructured to form a Water Resources Commission including experts and the current Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) will be unbundled into separate institutions for generation, transmission and distribution.

    It plans to connect Humla and Dolpa with national road network and stresses on construction of Mid-Hill Highway and Postal Highway, Kali Gandaki, Koshi and Karnali highways, and Kathmandu-Tarai Fast Track. Similarly, feasibility study for highways in Bheri, Rapti and other corridors will also be done. Janta Awash Program, Melamchi Drinking Water Project and development of model cities at 10 places along the Mid-Hill Highway will also be continued. It also plans to generate energy from garbage of Kathmandu Valley and other major cities.

    It plans to upgrade Tribhuvan International Airport with enhanced capacity and develop Biratnagar, Nepalgunj and Dhangadi airports into regional/international airports, and upgrade infrastructure at Janakpur, Bhairahawa and Surkhet airports to allow night-time landing of airplanes. Construction of Bher-Babai Diversion Project for irrigation will be started from the next fiscal year. Feasibility study will be done and DPRs prepared for Kaligandaki, Tinau and Sunkoshi diversion projects. It will stress on medium, drop, sprinkle, lift and reservoir irrigation by continuing big irrigation projects like Sikta and Ranijamara. The government similarly will also amend the Public Procurement Act that has created many problems.

    Member of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Chandra Mani Adhikari claimed that the policies and programs have included all the sectors. “This is the kind of policies and programs that will be brought no matter which party leads the government. These issues have to be addressed in the upcoming budget,” he added. He stated that the policies and programs will help in development of infrastructure projects like energy, roads and others, and will also create jobs by increasing income generation and attracting greater investment. He said the policies and programs have also stressed on making the public sector more responsible and claimed that there will be greater economic growth and the living standard of the people will be improved in the coming days if the policies and programs were to be implemented.

    The policies and programs have also mentioned about tabling around two dozen bills, that were under deliberation in the previous parliament, in the parliament. The bills include Foreign Investment Policy, Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act, Electricity Act, Public Procurement Act, Act about Special Economic Zone, Industrial Enterprise Act and others.

    Source : Karobar Daily