Guidelines for declaring NPPs in offing

Kathmandu, December 4

After facing much delay and multiple challenges in implementation of national pride projects (NPPs), National Planning Commission (NPC) — the apex planning body of the country — is preparing guidelines for declaring NPPs in the future.

After coming to the conclusion that declaring the NPPs without any preparations result in numerous problems in the implementation phase, the NPC is preparing guidelines with few basic criteria.

After the directive is enforced, the government would be able to declare those projects as pride projects whose detailed project report is completed and the project completion date is also fixed. “The government did not follow any discipline in declaring NPPs earlier, so the planning commission is trying to make it more realistic and practical,” said Sunil Babu Shrestha, a member of NPC.

NPC has formed a committee coordinated by its Vice Chairman Swarnim Wagle to formulate the guidelines. As per Shrestha, the committee will finalise the guidelines as soon as possible after holding discussions with the concerned parties.

“We are consulting with concerned government authorities regarding the guidelines, as feedback from the implementing agencies is crucial,” he stated. NPC will hold discussions with ministries that are allocated major chunks of capital budget and are responsible for implementing mega projects.

As per preliminary outline of the guidelines, government can list those projects as NPPs whose financial closure has also been completed. “Most of the pride projects suffer delays because of the search for financial resources and as their detailed project report are not completed, so NPC is planning to make these two criteria mandatory before declaring NPPs,” Shrestha stated.

The government had declared 21 mega projects as pride projects on 2011. However, the progress of majority of the NPPs is unsatisfactory.

As per the data maintained by the Ministry of Finance (MoF), only 53.83 per cent of total allocated budget for the NPPs was spent in the last fiscal year.

According to MoF, progress of South Asia Tourism Reform Project (Gautam Buddha Airport), Bheri-Babai Multipurpose Project, Railway, Metrorail and Monorail Development Project, Postal Highway (including bridges) and Melamchi Drinking Water Project was not satisfactory in the last fiscal.

Meanwhile, physical works of West Seti Hydropower project and Second International Airport (Nijgadh) have not started yet. Nepal Electricity Authority and China Three Gorges Corporation had signed a pact to construct the West Seti project on November 16, but the construction model of Nijgadh airport has not been finalised yet.