Nepal | September 30, 2020

PAC instructs govt to furnish documents of Budhigandaki deal

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, September 20

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature-Parliament has instructed the government to furnish all the documents related to Budhiganaki Hydroelectric Project deal with the Chinese company — China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC).

The last Cabinet meeting of the former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had decided on May 23 to hand over the contract of Budhigandaki project to the aforesaid Chinese company under EPCF (engineering, procurement, construction and financing) contract and then energy minister Janardan Sharma had signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 4.

However, the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki deal landed in controversy as the care-taker government had signed MoU with the Chinese company at the very last minute. The House panel suspects irregularities as the Dahal-led government handed over the national priority project to the Chinese company without conducting competitive bidding.

It is reported that Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshetri has already submitted the MoU to the Cabinet meeting and incumbent Cabinet of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has also endorsed the Budhigandaki deal.

The PAC today also raised concerns over the bad reputation of the Chinese company, which was even black-listed during construction of Sanjen Hydropower Project, developed by the subsidiary company of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). Chilime Hydropower Project had terminated the construction contract and seized the collateral from CGGC. The same company has also taken more than a decade to complete the 30-megawatt Chameliya Project.

Another project, the 60-megawatt Trishuli 3A being developed by the same contractor was initially supposed to be completed by June 30, 2011. The deadline for the project has already been extended thrice — first to April 30, 2013, then by 26 months to June 30, 2016 and then again for another 34 months since the last deadline.

“We have directed the government to submit all the documents related to Budhigandaki deal because we are apprehensive about irregularities while the EPCF contract was awarded to the Chinese company,” said Dor Prasad Upadhyay, chair of the PAC.

The House panel has sought all the relevant documents of the deal within September 24. “We will summon the prime minister, energy minister and high-ranking government officials to discuss the Budhigandaki deal as the Deuba-led Cabinet has endorsed the decision of the earlier government,” said Upadhyay.

The government has handed over the EPCF contract to CGGC even in lack of EPCF guidelines. As per a study carried out by the French company — Tractebel Engineering (France) — the cost to develop 1,200-megawatt project is
expected to hover around Rs 260 billion.

The Dahal-led government was highly criticised for handing over the national priority project to the Chinese company, which could be developed through domestic resources. Experts have said that Nepal can build the project from its own resources through proper planning.

The government has already initiated the land compensation distribution to people of project-affected area. The land compensation and resettlement cost is expected to come to around Rs 50 billion.

A version of this article appears in print on September 21, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Six student leaders arrested for staging protest outside Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 28 Six student leaders of Nepal Student Union, the student wing of major opposition Nepali Congress, were arrested today for staging a protest outside the Chinese Embassy at Baluwatar against the alleged border encroachment by the Chinese side in Humla district. The NSU le Read More...

Woman found dead in Saptari district

A police team has been deployed from Province Police Office, Janakpur, to investigate the case RAJBIRAJ, SEPTEMBER 28 A 50-year-old woman was found dead at Mayanakaderi village, Ward No 2 of Tirhut Rural Municipality, Saptari, yesterday. The body of Dayaman Devi, wife of local Shiv Narayan, w Read More...

TU likely to conduct exams after Dashain, Tihar festivals

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 28 Tribhuvan University has decided to conduct its regular examinations after the upcoming festivals by adding more examination centres and allowing students to take exams from the nearest examination centres. TU is all set to publish the exam routine very soon. The cou Read More...

Dr KC’s supporters move NHRC against CDO, police chief

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 28 Supporters of Dr Govinda KC have filed a complaint with the National Human Right Commission against Kathmandu’s Chief District Officer Janak Raj Dahal and head of Metropolitan Police Range’s SSP Shyam Lal Gyawali. Members of ‘solidarity for Govinda KC’ filed the Read More...

Sanphe-Martadi road obstructed for months

BAJURA, SEPTEMBER 28 Sanphe-Martadi road section has been obstructed for the last three months due to landslides in different places along the road section in Bajura. The road section from Barjugard to Martadi was obstructed due to incessant rainfall following mud slips in many places. The Read More...

THT logo

KTM 390 Adventure rolls out in Nepal

KATHMANDU: KTM, the world’s number one and Nepal’s fastest growing premium motorcycle brand, has launched the most awaited KTM 390 Adventure in the country. The bike can be bought at KTM showrooms across the country for the introductory price of Rs 999,000, as per a media release. KTM 390 Advent Read More...

NAC holds discussions to get ground-handling permission at GBIA

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 28 Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is preparing to provide ground-handing services at Gautam Buddha International Airport (GBIA), which is nearing completion. As GBIA has mentioned that it will be ready within the next six months, NAC has proceeded to get the permission to p Read More...

THT logo

NMB Bank joins PCAF

KATHMANDU: NMB Bank has joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), an industry-led initiative to measure and disclose greenhouse gas emissions financed by loans and investments. PCAF has grown rapidly, as per a press statement. From 50 financial institutions with over $5 tril Read More...