Kathmandu, August 9:

Despite the government having made a commitment of introducing various transport policies to boost public private partnership (PPP) in infrastructure development, implementation has been very weak. Policies such as National Transport Policy-2058, build and operator transfer (BOT) policy-2057 and local body PPP policy-2060, involving the private sector in infrastructure

development have been ineffective, says a paper prepared by Federation of Contractors Association of Nepal (FCAN). As per the transport policy, there is a tax holiday and duty rebate whereas the BOT policy has no such provision, complained businessmen. What is more troublesome is that local body PPP policy is too generic and lack supporting regulations or directives to guide public agencies to plan and procure PPP projects effectively and efficiently, says FCAN’s latest draft.

Contractors complained that existing policies have no provisions to encourage greater roles for local contractors. The private sector should be encouraged to use its ingenuity and capital in the public infrastructure provision and service delivery whether at the central level or the local level, mega or small, rural or urban. The private sector, under the legal constraint, has complai-ned that BOT ordinance-2061, despite it having been formulated basically upon the principle of transparency and competition, has resulted in non-transparency due to the provisions for BOT awards based on direct negotiation for projects costing more than Rs 2 billion.

It has been mentioned that implementing agencies such as Department of Roads and Local Infrastructure Development and Agriculture Roads are not oriented towards functioning in a flexible, autonomous and commercial environment. Even though a framework legal instrument

ordinance has been in place since the last two years, there are still many confidence building measures to be accomplished before the successful award of BOT contracts can take place in the transport sector, states the report. The recommendations say the income tax holiday and rebates and customs exemptions sho-uld be included in the BOT Act.