Proposed civil servants-promoted hydel project



    The ego tussle between the Ministry of Energy (MoE) and the Ministry of General Administration (MoGA) has been delaying work on the planned civil servants-promoted hydro power project.

    A recent study has concluded that a project with 100MW capacity can be developed with the investment from civil servants. The study also suggested that two projects be developed — first (25MW) in fast track mode and second (75MW) after the completion of the first.

    Given the existing Act bars civil servants from getting involved in profit making activities, the Cabinet has to open the door for them to invest in the proposed project.

    That’s why, about one and half months ago, MoE had sought MoGA’s opinion on facilitating civil servants to invest in hydropower development. However, an MoE official said MoGA has ‘neither approved nor disapproved’ the proposal.

    “MoGA has not been active enough,” he said, adding that the delay in MoGA’s consent has barred MoE from tabling the proposal in the Cabinet.

    MoGA officials, however, said they could not give a formal consent as they were not clear about the issue. Dugra Nidhi Tiwari, secretary at MoGA, said it was first necessary to know MoE’s opinion on the project. “MoE has only sought MoGA’s view, but has not stated anything else on the matter which has created difficulties in giving our consent,” he said.

    According to him, although MoGA asked MoE to come up with a detailed proposal, including viability, urgency and modality of the project, MoE is yet to respond. “Even we need a base for giving our decision,” added Tiwari.

    MoE officials, however, MoGA seeking the detailed proposal was ‘against the law’. “We just want an agreement in principle from

    MoGA regarding civil servants’ involvement in the project,” said a senior MoE official.

    He said MoE will take care of other aspects of the project development. “MoGA should not worry about the success or failure or other aspects of the project. We just expect its concrete decision on the sought matter.”

    The study has recommended that the project can be developed with 41 percent stake from civil servants. A government-formed committee formed to carry out the study has already prepared a Memorandum of Article and Memorandum of Association for the setting up of Civil Servants Hydropower Development Company and submitted to MoE.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post