KATHMANDU, July 23:
Though the government has been putting energy sector in top priority over the past few years, work progress on hydropower generation and construction of transmission lines remained slow during the 12th development plan thanks to political instability and problems in land acquisition for building transmission lines.
The three-year plan, which ended in mid-July, had envisaged adding 184 MW to the national grid. However, only 21 MW could be generated during the period.
The report card on transmission line construction is even worse.
Data compiled by National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex policy formulating body of the government, shows the government could build only 500 meters transmission line against the target of completing 500-km long lines during the three-year period.
“We faced problems in land acquisition,” Gopi Nath Mainali, joint secretary at the NPC, told Republica. “This is the major factor that affected works to expand transmission lines.”
Persisting political instability, power crisis, labor unrest, slow growth of agriculture sector, drop in new investment by public and private sector affected economic growth during the plan period.
Though the government had set the target of achieving 5.5 percent economic growth every year during the plan period, average growth rate during the last three fiscal years was recorded at 4 percent. Worse still, the growth rate during 2012/13 slipped to 3.6 percent – the lowest in the period.
Officials have attributed slower economic performance in the last fiscal year to the absence of full-fledged budget.
With the slowing economic activities, the government couldn´t achieve targeted growth in jobs creation. The government achieved only 2.9 percent growth in employment generation against the target of 3.6 percent during the review period.
The government, however, surpassed targets in some sectors during the plan period. Revenue collection increased by 23 percent during the period, which is higher than the projected target of 15 percent.
Similarly, the government achieved 70 percent literacy rate against the target of 68 percent. Sixty-two percent of the total popular has access to sanitation facilities, up from the target of 53 percent set for the plan period. Likewise, 85 percent of the population has access to drinking water.
“We have surpassed targets in literacy rate, and access to drinking water and sanitation facilities. However, we have yet to make significant process in terms of quality in these sectors,” said Mainali.
He said Nepal can easily meet the target set by Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of the United Nations in terms of access to drinking water by 2015.
Similarly, the government constructed a total of 25,122 kilometers of roads against the target of 20,122 km. Similarly, tele-density increased to 72 during the plan period against the target of 60.
The government has also achieved the target in irrigation sector by expanding irrigation facilities to 131,100 hectares until the end of review plan.
Source : Republica