Kathmandu, August 12

National Planning Commission (NPC), the apex body that frames country’s development plans and policies, has proposed to establish Public Private Partnership (PPP) Centre at its secretariat with 17 staff members.

“The last board meeting of the NPC, comprising the outgoing members and vice chairman Yubaraj Khatiwada, principally agreed to this organisational setup,” NPC Officiating Secretary Gopi Nath Mainali said. “The meeting also agreed to appoint a joint secretary-level staff as PPP Centre’s head, few experts and under secretaries with technical skills.” Khatiwada and other members of his team resigned after the new government took power.

This organisational structure now needs to be approved by Ministry of Finance and Ministry of General Administration (MoGA).

Although the new government has already appointed a finance minister, vacant post of general administration minister is expected to delay the process of endorsing the PPP Centre’s organisational setup plan.

As per the PPP Policy, the centre would be headed by an executive director and will comprise experts from the government as well as private sectors.

The main responsibilities of the PPP Centre, as per the PPP Policy, are to conduct feasibility studies of projects that could be built under the PPP model. It will also appraise procurement documents, and text of concessional agreements, also known as project development agreements, that the government and the private sector need to sign prior to implementing PPP projects.

The centre will also facilitate in designing, development and operation of PPP projects and conduct studies on good PPP practices embraced here and abroad.

It will also work as a bridge between various government agencies and the private sector, educate officials of government agencies about PPP concept, and link potential investors with banking institutions to mobilise financial resources to develop PPP projects.

The government has long been trying to promote PPP to rope in the private sector in development of various physical infrastructure projects, such as roads, bridges, airports, hydroelectric and irrigation plants, and transmission lines.

The government is showing keen interest on this front because 86 per cent of the projects initiated by the government have not been completed on time.

This has not only caused inconvenience to the public but has resulted in cost overrun and led to development of low-quality infrastructure.

In this regard, the government has already initiated the task of framing PPP Act and other relevant guidelines to implement PPP Policy and Act.

Once PPP Act comes into effect, it will replace ‘Private Financing in Build and Operation of Infrastructure’ — commonly referred to as the BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) Act — which, so far, has been guiding development of PPP projects in the country.