Kathmandu, September 12
The Nepal Infrastructure Summit 2019 concluded in the Capital today with an appeal from the government to investors to inject investment in the infrastructure sector and a call from experts and the private sector to the government to focus on business-friendly regulatory provisions.
Organised jointly by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) and Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport, the two-day event witnessed discussions and deliberations on the state of Nepal’s infrastructure, challenges and necessities to bridge the infrastructure gap in the country by experts from Nepal and abroad.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav, addressed the concluding ceremony of the event and urged investors to wholeheartedly invest in infrastructure sector citing that entire nation today is committed to facilitating investments and businesses.
Speaking at a session during the event, former finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat stressed on the need to work on existing policies of the government and make them feasible for business and investment.“The government should enhance its decision-making capacity and work on existing policies to make them investor-friendly and competitive. The government should adopt the policies that provide both facilities and protect businesses and investments,” he said.
Citing that there is lack of coordination between the government’s vision, plan, policy and programmes, Mahat said that the government should promote practical plans and projects.“The government should also focus on quality of infrastructure being developed in the country.Different reports have shown that Nepal’s roads are of inferior construction quality,” he said.
Similarly, Mahat also urged the government to promote private investment in hydropower sector. “Hydropower is the best sector to address ballooning trade deficit of Nepal.”
Similarly, industrialist Binod Chaudhary, who is also president emeritus of CNI, conveyed to foreign participants at the event that Nepal is on the path to developing a favourable environment for business after decade-long political transition. “It is high time for investors to invest in various sectors in Nepal, including education, health, energy, aviation, financial markets, roads, among others,” he said.
Learning lessons from neighbouring nations, the government should seek possible ways of raising investment in infrastructure sector, control corruption and enhance the efficiency of bureaucracy, he added.
Meanwhile, Chaudhary also said that the government should formulate policies and develop infrastructure across the country as per necessity with proper groundwork and coordination with the private sector.
At the event, representatives from World Bank said the government should promote public-private partnership modality in the development of infrastructure in the country.
A version of this article appears in print on September 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.