Political parties, private sector join hands for hydro development

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    Chairman of the interim election government, political party leaders and FNCCI president raising hands in a sign of solidarity to push for hydropower,
    Chairman of the interim election government, political party leaders and FNCCI president raising hands in a sign of solidarity to push for hydropower,

    KATHMANDU, April 10: The government, major political parties and the private sector have jointly expressed commitment to take forward hydropower development in the country without any hindrance.

    The commitment was made during the opening session of the 47th annual general meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the largest umbrella body of the private sector, on Wednesday.

    In a show of allegiance to the cause, a 19-point agreement on executing hydropower development activities without strikes and extortions was also signed by government representatives, major political parties and the private sector.

    The agreement was signed by Khil Raj Regmi, the chairman of the Council of Ministers, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum President Upendra Yadav, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic President Bijaya Gachchhadar, Rastriya Janashakti Party President Surya Bahadur Thapa and FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya.

    Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, who couldn´t attend the event due to his party´s ongoing general-committee meeting, sent a message expressing Nepali Congress´ solidarity to the hydropower development agenda proposed by the FNCCI.

    Similarly, Terai Madhes Democratic Party President Mahantha Thakur also sent a message of solidarity to the FNCCI.

    However, representatives of Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, which has been protesting construction of mega hydropower projects in the country, were not present on the occasion.

    Addressing the AGM´s inaugural session, Dahal said the agenda the FNCCI had put forward was meaningful at this phase of the country´s development. “The agenda raised by the private sector is important,” he said at the event organized with a slogan ´Change for Development Starts Now´

    Congratulating the FNCCI for taking the initiative to bring major political parties on a common platform, Dahal further said that people should pursue for political stability and development. “It´s people who correct political parties at times when they derail from the track,” he said.

    Expressing commitment to work hard within the party and outside it to ensure implementation of the agreement, CPN-UML Chairman Khanal said economic development was the need of the day.

    “This agreement among political parties and the private sector will help the country to achieve industrial growth in the near future,” he said. “We have to learn from our neighbors, China and India, and move forward.”

    Similarly, top leaders, including Gachchhadhar and Yadav, expressed their commitments to implement the agreement. “The proposed agendas for hydropower development are significant at the moment,” Yadav said.

    Welcoming political parties´ commitment to develop the country´s hydropower sector, FNCCI President Vaidya said energy generation has become the most pressing issue of the day. “This is the time to change things and work hard for economic growth,” Vaidya said. “I request all political parties and leaders to understand the country´s need and not interrupt ongoing economic development activities in the country.”

    Source : Republica

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    Parties pledge to develop hydropower

    • Term hydel projects engine of growth • Express commitment not to disturb their construction

    KATHMANDU: Major political parties today made a commitment to develop hydropower in the country.During the 47th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry here, leaders of six major political parties — the Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Nepal, Rastriya Janashakti Party and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic — and the Chairman of the interim election government Khil Raj Regmi signed a commitment paper, pledging not to disturb hydropower development in the country.

    The umbrella organisation of the private sector has long been pushing for a common minimum economic agenda for political parties. But political bickering has become the order of the day, which has put economy on the back burner, costing the country billions and forcing thousands of youth to migrate to the deserts of the Middle East.

    Since long, ultra-leftist parties have been treating hydropower as a political issue, forcing the country and its future towards darkness, but today’s commitment by the political parties, including the UCPN-M, which has often used hydropower as a bargaining chip for power, there is hope that the parties will treat hydropower now as a commodity that can make Nepal prosperous.

    “Nepal is bestowed with vast natural resources and human capital,” said UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, after signing the 19-point commitment paper.

    “We are committed to working unitedly with other political parties for the economic prosperity of the country,” he said. NC President Sushil Koirala, in his recorded message from Nawalparasi, said his party had always supported the private sector and had been the proponent of economic growth.

    The CPN-Maoist that has been creating hurdles in the bigger hydropower projects was, however, absent at today’s programme.

    “The FNCCI has been lobbying for a common minimum economic agenda, including hydropower, for the development of the country,” said FNCCI President Suraj Vaidya during the inaugural session.

    “It is high time all political parties came to a certain understanding on ways to end the everlasting transition and steer the nation towards the path of accelerated growth,” the FNCCI chief said, urging the incumbent government to bring pending legislations that are crucial for creating investment-friendly environment in the country.

    Vaidya also asked the government to bring legislations regarding electricity, special economic zone, banking and financial institutions, intellectual property, foreign investment and regulating foreign trade and labour to help create investment-friendly environment.

    “We urge the government to conclude the pending Letter of Exchange of trade and transit with and through India in addition to concluding the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement, and Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Thailand, Qatar, Australia, Russia and other potential countries,” added the FNCCI president.

    Source : The Himalayan Times