PM pans for peace, pace on PPP model

Kathmandu, October 22:

Peace cannot be sustainable without economic development, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said while inaugurating the two-day ‘National Symposium on Public-Private Partnership (3P) 2008’ here today.

“Nepal not only needs peace but also economic development to sustain that peace,” he said adding that the PPP model was the best fast track route to building big projects.

Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) president Kush Kumar Joshi urged the government to have conceptual clarity about the PPP model. UNDP resident representative Robert Piper said only the PPP model could help the government implement its fiscal plan.

Minister for Local Development Ram Chandra Jha said domestic capitalists should be encouraged. “The government is working to reform all laws and acts that might be hurdles in utilising PPP to its fullest.

With the slogan, ‘Foundation of Economic Development through Public-Private Partnership’, the symposium has been jointly organised by FNCCI, Ministry of Local Development and UNDP to promote private investment.

Participants will brainstorm on the issue and various aspects of public-private partnership. They will focus on the possibilities of public-private partnership in six sectors: Tourism, local development, education, health, agriculture and infrastructure development.

Senior tourism entrepreneur Karna Shakya said, “Tourism is a dynamic industry. People engaged in it should update themselves to keep abreast of changing times.” He added, “Now there is a need for health tourism, educational tourism, agro tourism, adventure tourism and sports tourism,” he said.

Citing examples of educational tourism, Shakya said, “In the US, 40,000 Chinese students are pursuing further education. We too should focus on different aspects of tourism. Tourism isn’t confined merely to just arrival of tourists, it’s also about how to earn more by providing them opportunities to spend more here.”

According to Shakya, if the country is able to organise sports tourism of international standards, a number of multinational companies would be willing to provide courtesy facilities and this would be possible only through PPP.

Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) Hisila Yami said that along with paragliding, hot air ballooning and bungee jumping there is the facility of skydiving now in Nepal. She added, “Privatisation and industrialisation is what we are mainly focussing on.”

Secretary to the MTCA Leela Mani Poudyal said, “Tourism and civil aviation are key areas of Nepal’s economy. Implementing PPP in Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) is a priority and the ministry is making progress in this regard.”