Contract period for ongoing projects will be extended: PM

Chitwan, March 30

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today said the government will extend the contract period of development projects that are in the phase of construction and have missed the deadline for completion by one year in view of the massive earthquake and the ensuing border blockade.

Inaugurating the silver jubilee and 18th general assembly of Nepal Construction Entrepreneurs’ Federation here today, Oli acknowledged the setback to development activities due to the inopportune events. “There has been no discussion in the Council of Ministers about the matter, but now that I’ve given you my word, the government will extend the contract period by a year for projects that have failed to complete due to the unexpected turn of events.”

He, however, cautioned entrepreneurs not to construe the extension as excuse to prolong the projects and urged them to pay attention to quality. “The government always wants projects done at the least possible cost, but it doesn’t mean we want projects to be of low quality,” he added, citing examples of many poorly built black-topped roads.

Expressing dissatisfaction with the criticism that the government has failed to intensify post-earthquake reconstruction, Oli said, “It’s not that the government is not doing anything; everything takes time and so does reconstruction.” Also calling on entrepreneurs to support the Mero Dharahara Ma Banauchhu campaign, he listed the government’s priority list.

As for roads, the government will intensify construction of the East-West postal road, upgrade the East-West highway to make it six-lane, construct the two-lane Kathmandu-Kerung road, and the proposed works for Pokhara International Airport and work on Kerung-Kathmandu-Pokhara-Lumbini road will also start soon, said the PM, who stressed the need to promote healthy and balanced relations with both China and India.